Flight Data Recorder for Interventional Radiology
Video and Audio
of Radiation Use
Transform Data into Information
Small Tests of Change
Figure 4 • the improvement strategy is configured as a feedback loop that starts with continually collecting data regarding operational
performance. Data analysis uncovers opportunities for improvement. small tests of change are conducted and if successful, lead
to observable improvement in performance metrics.
and the need to optimize radiation exposure have created substantial interest
for installing similar recording systems in
other procedure areas.
The flight data recorder for interventional
radiology has driven home the notion
that interventional radiology is a team
sport and that improvements can be measured by keeping score. The improvement
strategy has three major components:
1. Continually capturing data on current
2. Analyzing that data to identify improvement opportunities
3. Allowing the frontline staff to pursue
small tests of change as they strive to
improve their performances (Figure 4)
W. Edwards Deming argued that
management should remove barriers
that rob the frontline staff of their rights
Editor’s note: St. Louis Children’s Hospital was one of the
2011 recipients of the “Best Practices in Radiology Quality
& Economics Award” for this project. The award was judged
on the impact of project; scope of project; project definition; project solutions; and innovation and collaboration by
a panel of radiology administrators and business managers
who are members of the boards of the AHRA and Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA), as well as
the editorial staff of Health Imaging.
to pride of workmanship. The interventional radiology team takes pride not
only in showing their run charts to other
services, but also in learning how to continually improve. The team readily acknowledges that there is much yet to
learn. Still, they are fortunate to have the
tools, culture, and strategy to learn from
the past in order to improve the futures
of the children they serve.
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James R. Duncan, MD, PhD, is associate professor of
radiology and surgery and chief quality and safety
officer at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in
St. Louis, MO.
Mandie Street, RT, is quality and safety coordinator at
the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in St. Louis, MO.
Melissa Fitzpatrick, RT, is lead technologist in
interventional radiology at St. Louis Children’s
Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
Christian Salinas, MD, is completing an internship in
internal medicine at Barnes Jewish Hospital in
St. Louis, MO and will start his residency in
diagnostic radiology at the University of Virginia in