Quinte Health’s Diagnostic Imaging (DI) Department has come a long way since May! Pandemic shutdowns and staffing shortages led to severe backlogs and disruption to some DI services. There was a feeling of despair among the team – staff members were stressed; spirits were low… something needed to change.
Fast forward to today and you find a rejuvenated team, better processes, improved access to imaging, and a drastically reduced backlog. What led to this turnaround? Lots of hard work, collaboration, communication and an openness to new solutions.
A few highlights:
- Quinte Health reached out for help from Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). Together we created a service agreement where KHSC took many of Quinte Health’s lower priority CT and MRI cases on weekends over the span of many months. This helped to reduce our substantial backlog. A big thank you to KHSC for their partnership! #StrongerTogether
- Quinte Health’s Process Improvement team worked with the DI Booking team to find solutions that helped reduce the requisition backlog and improve communication with patients. Each DI modality reduced its requisition backlog anywhere from 8% to 87%! Incredible! Thank you to both of these teams for their amazing work and persistence.
- Another communication improvement saw the DI Clerical team making reminder calls to patients, leading to a 56% decrease in no-shows for X-ray and an 18% decrease in no-shows for ultrasound. This simple, yet effective, tactic has a drastic impact on access to imaging for our community as appointment slots are fully utilized.
- Hire! Hire! Hire! Maintaining adequate staffing levels is a challenge across the health care system. The DI managers made changes to staffing coverage/ratios and worked with our dedicated Human Resources team to make DI recruitment a priority, leading to a more robust team of technical and clerical staff.
Julie Larouz, Quinte Health’s Director of Clinical Support Services (including DI), started with Quinte Health in August 2022. She helped to drive this drastic turnaround within the department and cheered the team on throughout. “No matter what happens, as long as we come together and have a plan, there are no obstacles we can’t overcome,” said Julie. “While we are still facing challenges, we are working through them as we move forward. DI is a proud and positive team that wants what is best for their patients and the community. I’m proud of the team for their resilience and hard work.”
“Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this success story,” said Jeff Hohenkerk, Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer. “The entire Diagnostic Imaging team – including director Julie Larouz and managers Tammy Robson and William Field, the technologists, radiologists, clerical team, booking team – everyone. And a big shout out to those who supported this transformation – the Process Improvement team, Human Resources, KHSC for their partnership, and any other team or individual that played a role. We’ve proven that we truly are Stronger Together.”