MRTs prioritize their workflow to ensure examinations and treatment are performed within an appropriate and reasonable time frame based on the nature of the patient’s condition
+ Balancing priorities
- MRTs make efforts to use available resources in the most efficient way possible based on an understanding of the dynamics of their own facility and patient populations.
- In making decisions on workflow, MRTs ensure all relevant information about a patient is considered, including:1
- Clinical importance of examination, procedure or treatment for the patient
- Impact of timing on the patient's management and care
- Priority of procedure or treatment, based on patient history and current status (e.g., critical, urgent, etc.)
- Complexity of procedure/treatment
- Other procedures to be performed and how they will affect each other
- Availability of resources (e.g., staff, equipment, etc.)
- Other priorities (e.g., patient involved in clinical trial)
- In departments where it is necessary to accommodate urgent procedures:
- It is common to reserve blocks of time for urgent requests
- Rescheduling is based on a rationale that takes into account the elements of priority discussed
+ Collaborative decisions
- Decisions on workflow in imaging or radiation therapy departments affect other members of the healthcare team.
- MRTs are sensitive to the needs of other healthcare professionals and are conscious of the need for consultation with the multidisciplinary team.
- Decisions about workflow are explained based on the rationale used to balance the priorities of all patients
+ Communication with patients
- Conversations with patients regarding workflow should be approached with respect and understanding.
- The decision to alter a patient's scheduled appointment is discussed in a way that shows respect for the individual:
- Explain why the delay occurred
- Provide some idea of how long the delay will be
- Discuss potential options
- If rescheduling is necessary, reassure the patient that they will be given appropriate priority status
- Best Practice Guidelines for Managing the Flow of Patients Requiring an MRI or CT Examination. 2009. Available at: http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/23006/292809.pdf. Accessed April 5, 2012.
Example priority rating schemes: