Radiologists at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics are saving around two and a half hours of their work day with their new reading room coordinator program, a position that eliminates rudimentary administrational tasks for radiologists.

The reading room coordinator isn’t a new concept, and other institutions have found that they’re useful in managing the vast majority of radiology requests. The coordinator handles a variety of critical tasks including triaging calls from physicians, nurses, staff, and technologists and communicating exam results and other patient issues. They also lessen some of the time residents and fellows are supposed to perform administrative tasks by allowing them to participate in more direct radiological procedures.

Administrators at the University of Iowa implemented an eight-month pilot program and introduced Carestream, an imaging tech-based workflow system in conjunction. They found that not only did the reading room coordinator and Carestream give radiologists the opportunity to read additional exams and improve patient care, but overall, the program eliminated $600,000 in annual costs.

“Important phone calls to referring physicians can be made between studies and not during them,” said Tara Sorg, MHA, administration service specialist at the University of Iowa Health Care’s Department of Radiology. “The coordinator works as a liaison to communicate patient and exam information from providers, technologists and other healthcare personnel in an efficient and accurate manner.”