Mobile App Helps Hospital Staff Communicate With Radiologists

June 3, 2015

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD-Mobile app puts radiologists and hospital staff in touch.

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD-A new mobile web application can make it easier for hospital staff and radiologists to communicate, reducing the number of intrusive phone calls, according to a study presented at the SIIM Annual Meeting, held from May 28 to 30.

In order to facilitate communication and make it easier for clinicians and radiologists to reach each other and discuss cases, researchers from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania attempted to design a better method to link clinicians to the appropriate radiology division at any time of day. They wanted to develop an easy-to-use application that would automatically provide correct contact information directly on clinicians’ smartphones.

They created a mobile app, a website optimized for all major mobile devices that can be easily updated, and appears and functions like a native application. The app, called RadPhone, automatically updated contact numbers by study type, hospital site and time of day, and allowed clinicians to dial these numbers from within the app.

The researchers found that after a year of use, the app was accessed over 5,500 times by approximately 570 unique users/devices. According to a follow-up survey of house staff, including 40 physicians in internal medicine, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, family medicine, and radiology, 78% of respondents indicated that they had used the application and a little over half had accessed the app more than 10 times.

“Over 90 percent of users indicated that RadPhone achieved its purpose in making it easier to find the right radiology phone number and 84 percent indicated that the app had improved their day-to-day clinical practice,” the researchers said. “Since using RadPhone, 84 percent of users also indicated that they relied less on other methods to find radiology phone numbers, primarily the housestaff intranet website. All RadPhone users indicated that they would recommend RadPhone to a colleague and 88 percent stated that they had actually done so.”

The researchers concluded that their simplified RadPhone application provided easier communication between clinicians and radiologists, simplifying the more complicated methods of communication now in place in most facilities.