Background: Health care reform in the United States has generated a paradigm shift in the practice of radiology aimed at increasing the degree of patient-centered care. We conducted a study to quantify the amount of time breast imaging radiologists spend on value-added activities at an academic comprehensive cancer center located in Miami, Florida, and accredited by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Methods: A prospective, observational study was conducted during a period of 20 consecutive workdays. Three participating breast imaging radiologists maintained a real-time log of each activity performed. A generalized linear model was used to perform a 1-way analysis of variance. An α level of.05 was used to determine statistical significance. Results: The average daily time dedicated to these activities was 92.1 minutes (range, 56.4–132.2). The amount of time significantly differed among breast imaging radiologists and correlated with their assigned daily role (P <.001 for both) but was independent of their years of experience. The daily role that required the most time was the interpretation of diagnostic imaging studies, which is when most interactions with patients, their relatives, and referring physicians occurred. The specific activity that required the most time was preparing for and participating in tumor boards. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the breast imaging radiologists who participated in this study dedicated a significant amount of their time to value-added activities to help improve patients’ experience across the continuity of their care. We propose that similar studies be conducted at other institutions to better assess the magnitude of this finding across different breast imaging care settings.
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