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Radiology. 2005 Jul;236(1):214-9. Epub 2005 Jun 27.

Use of productivity and financial indicators for monitoring performance in academic radiology departments: U.S. nationwide survey.

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  • 1Radiology Management Group, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, One Brigham Circle, 1620 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



To determine how productivity- and finance-related indicators are used by radiology departments to evaluate departmental performance.


The study met the criteria to be exempt from institutional review board approval. All subjects were informed of the purpose of the study and that their questionnaire responses would be kept confidential. For the study, a survey was sent to 132 members of the Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD) nationwide. The survey was designed to (a) assess organizational information about hospital and radiology departments, (b) determine the types and mean numbers of productivity and financial indicators used by radiology departments, (c) determine how these indicators are used to influence departmental productivity, and (d) assess the reference-standard goals with which each indicator value was compared. A total of 77 variables were studied. Summary statistics, Spearman rank correlation coefficient, and chi2 analyses were performed.


The response rate was 42% (55 of 132 surveyed SCARD members). The mean number of productivity indicators used by radiology departments was 4.55 +/- 2.56 (standard deviation), while the mean number of financial indicators used was 2.89 +/- 1.99. Twenty-two (40%) of the 55 responding departments used productivity indicators to monitor and provide feedback to radiologists, hospital leaders, and technical staff members for improved productivity, but only 11 (20%) departments used these indicators to compare personnel performances against specific productivity standards. The most frequent goal (of seven [13%] responding departments) of using the indicators was to increase the examination volume from the previous year by 5%-10%.


Academic radiology departments across the United States do not use a standardized set of productivity and financial indicators to measure departmental performance. Examination volume is the most frequently used productivity indicator, whereas general expenses are commonly used as indicators of financial status.

Copyright RSNA, 2005

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