It’s 9 a.m. and outside the new radiology reading room a group has gathered to talk through the day’s challenges and prepare for the day ahead. Yesterday, several patients cancelled appointments due to heavy rainfall, and today there will be more appointments than expected to make up for it. With a team there to talk through the situation and challenges, the problems are quickly resolved. Dr. Lane Donnelly, associate radiologist-in-chief, asks if the right amount of staff are here to take care of this higher demand. Next, he talks about any other concerns. One MRI machine is down, which may slow down the process, but an alternative plan has been put in place to move patients through the system as seamlessly as possible.
The morning huddle operation was brought to Texas Children’s by way of Donnelly who had devised similar processes in his previous roles at other institutions.
“It improves our coordination and ability to identify and track issues,” Donnelly said. “It builds in support by bringing everyone together to resolve issues efficiently.”
The daily readiness process takes place every morning within the Radiology Department to ensure that the hospital’s imaging services are ready for patients. Present for this meeting are radiologists, radiology nurses and techs, other support services staff, such as representatives from information services and biomed, along with leaders within the department. Each day the team discusses safety, methods, equipment, supplies and work staff adequacy. This process is made to ensure that every machine and every staff member is properly equipped and ready to handle various cases throughout the day in our diverse imaging facilities throughout the hospital and our community locations.
The huddle is also a communication vehicle to share lessons-learned and best practices.
“I think the sense of our team changes because of this new process,” Donnelly said. “The informal huddle allows for better collaboration.”
The huddles are held just outside a new ballroom style reading room built to bring together radiologists who were previously spread throughout the organization at various locations on Main Campus. Radiologist-in-Chief Dr. George Bisset said this new process is just one of the many ways this new expansion and the concentration of the radiology services have helped the team and its partners.
“The greatest thing that this new area provides is teamwork,” Bisset said. “It is also a positive move for our clinicians who can now visit our large reading room, which serves as a one-stop-shop to receive all information on imaging for their patients.”
Radiologists have better access to their leaders and to each other. Fellows and residents are given access to all areas of radiology and can be educated on rare cases when they arise, even if it’s not within the area of their current rotation.