Lifestyles drive radiologists into wings of nighthawks

July 1, 2007

Radiologists' wish to sleep at night and avoid call is more likely to drive demand for after-hours teleradiology services than is a need for extra personnel, according to a small survey of imaging department heads conducted by Yale University researchers.

Radiologists' wish to sleep at night and avoid call is more likely to drive demand for after-hours teleradiology services than is a need for extra personnel, according to a small survey of imaging department heads conducted by Yale University researchers.

"Convenience seems to be the dominant factor. Lifestyle issues received higher mean scores than necessity," said Adam Kaye, a Yale medical student who presented the survey findings at the 2007 American Roentgen Ray Society meeting.

Kaye's group distributed the survey among 300 randomly selected hospitals. Of those contacted, 115 responded to the 59 questions about utilization and rationales for using nighthawk-type services. Fifty-four percent of respondents reported using some degree of after-hours outsourcing. Lifestyle prerogatives were more important than cost cutting or the need to meet excess demand, according to findings.