Novel management ideas can enhance productivity and raise staff morale

February 15, 2008

t is not easy for radiologists to learn about good management. There are few, if any, comprehensive and authoritative training manuals, and management issues are rarely addressed at congresses, although organizers of the ECR are trying hard to expand its coverage of nonclinical topics. Yet radiologists often require budgeting, communication, and other business-related skills in their practices.

It is not easy for radiologists to learn about good management. There are few, if any, comprehensive and authoritative training manuals, and management issues are rarely addressed at congresses, although organizers of the ECR are trying hard to expand its coverage of nonclinical topics. Yet radiologists often require budgeting, communication, and other business-related skills in their practices.

This explains why the Management in Radiology meeting has always proved popular. Held annually in a European city in the autumn, it has become a useful training and debating forum, particularly for IT and PACS questions. DI Europe has covered the conference consistently since the mid-1990s and even produced a special supplement on the event in 1998.

One of the highlights at last October's MIR congress in Oxford, U.K., was a half-day session about the 10 commandments for managing an imaging department. Several eminent radiologists shared their experiences, gave practical advice, and answered delegates' questions in an open and honest way.

You can turn to the news section in this issue to find out more about Prof. Philip Gishen's guiding principles and management philosophy. After the protracted legal dispute involving senior radiologists at London's Hammersmith Hospital during 1999 and 2000, which led to the suspension of Prof. Peter Dawson and the early retirement of Prof. David Allison, Gishen has learned many lessons from his attempts to restore stability and boost staff morale in the department he inherited from Allison.

The discussion that followed the formal presentations was also illuminating, especially when people spoke about how they promoted teamwork and injected fun into their daily working lives.

One delegate described how she creates goodwill within the radiology department by offering massages to colleagues when she has a spare few minutes. They never say no, and it works really well, she said. A Latvian attendee stressed the importance of social events among radiologists and radiographers, and recommended organizing two or three parties a year. She said that everybody enjoyed taking part in the North-East Latvian radiologists' version of the Olympic Games, an event that forged many new friendships among the participants.

Similarly, a Dutch delegate emphasized the need to teach people how to reward themselves for what they do. When he worked as a radiographer in Amsterdam, he relished the occasional social weekend away with colleagues, noting that this had a very positive impact.If you would like to tell colleagues about any ideas that have worked well for you, please send me an e-mail at philipward1@btconnect.com. We will publish a selection of the best submissions in a forthcoming issue.