News | June 02, 2010

Radiologist Productivity Metrics Under the Microscope

June 3, 2010 - "Physician productivity disparities are not uncommonly debated within radiology groups, sometimes in a contentious manner," stated the authors of a new study published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

In a two-part series, Richard Duszak, Jr., M.D. and Lawrence R. Muroff, M.D., will analyze the metrics used for evaluating radiologist productivity and review published benchmarks, focusing primarily on clinical work. The researchers will look at issues and limitations that may prevent successful implementation of measurement systems are explored.

The authors concluded: "although work RVUs [relative value units] are preferred over revenue or examination counts by most practice leaders as the primary tool to evaluate clinical work output, by design they do not account for important administrative, leadership or academic efforts, nor do they assess the quality of the services they quantify or the professionalism of the physician providing them."

They also recommended regarding perceived productivity issues, practices "assess exactly what it is they want to measure and why."

In Part 2 of the study, researchers will expand the discussion to include nonclinical administrative and academic activities, outlining advantages and disadvantages of addressing differential productivity, and introducing potential models for practices seeking to motivate physicians on the basis of both clinical and nonclinical work.

Reference: Duszak, R., Murhoff, L. "Measuring and Managing Radiologist Productivity, Part 1: Clinical Metrics and Benchmarks." Volume 7, Issue 6, Pages 452-458. June 2010.

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