There is one button on Powerscribe that I find more satisfying than almost any other. No, it’s not the sign button, although it does feel quite rewarding to sign off a study. Indeed, it’s not the auto text button. Though, I press that one all the time to make my templates. And, it does shorten my dictation time. Instead, it is that button typically buried in the edit menu of Powerscribe, the lowly undo button. I can’t tell you the number of times I clicked on the wrong button to lose half my dictation. And, then I click on the Undo button to restore it to the way it was.
Probably, most of you are aware of this undo function. It returns anything you did before to its previous state as long it was a line of spoken text or a cut or a paste. But imagine not knowing about its existence. Well, that was my world for a good year or two as an attending physician. Now, it is somewhat embarrassing to release this information to the masses. But I have to let it out. It is true. I spent eons trying to recreate what I had dictated before without knowing there was a simple way to retrieve the information. I was not aware of the existence of the undo button for way too long. Imagine that.
The Undo Button: A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem With Radiology And Technology
This point about the undo button brings me to one of the most significant technical radiology issues. We, as radiologists, don’t know about so many computer and technology functions that can make our lives potentially easier and shorten our days. Now, maybe this issue is somewhat magnified because I have reached middle age. But I don’t think that is the case.
I have seen younger physicians like residents and early attendings that don’t know how to link two studies together to compare them slice by slice beside one another. I have seen other attendings unaware of the certain simple functions on our software for calcium scoring that would have saved them tons of time. And I’m sure there are many other time-saving technology tools that I am not aware of. If all the radiologists were to pool their technology know-how together, we would all shave off an extra hour of work every day. So, why is it that we do not receive the technical training we need to make us more efficient at our job?
Radiologists Do Not Receive Formal Training Because We Are Expected To Learn On Our Own
Many radiologists jump into the world of dictation and PACS headfirst without receiving any formal training. I believe many of you who work for hospitals and imaging centers precisely know what I am talking about. As a resident, I cannot remember any technology folks training the residents on using PACS. And that same philosophy continued throughout the years. Hospitals and imaging centers expect us to use our highly paid professional time to figure it all out on our own.
Technology Trainers Don’t Know How To Train Radiologists
When we get the “training” that we need from the technology folks, several things happen. First, they show you what you can do, and they allow you to play around with everything. And then they say you need to use it for a while to get accustomed to it. While that is undoubtedly true, we still often miss out on multiple functions and pieces of knowledge that can increase our efficiency. The problem is that the technology experts that are training you are not radiologists. And, they will never know the most important functions that we will need to use.
Lack Of Time/Money Dedicated Toward Training
Or, I find that once in a while, you will get an excellent technology expert that will try to help you out by creating hanging protocols, setting easy keys, and more. Some might become a bit irritated when they realize that they need to sit down with you for an extended period to make the technology precisely the way you like. Or, maybe the institution received a package deal that included a limited amount of training for the radiologists—bottom line. You may receive much less education than you need.
Learning The Undo Button: A Simple Solution To Improve Workplace Efficiency
So, why do I bring up an entire blog about a simple undo button and the issues that go along with it? Well, it is a cry for good, down-to-earth technology instruction that every radiologist should have. We, as radiologists, hear about burnout and misery all the time. But, it is the little things that make radiologists happy. Radiologists are highly paid professionals who deserve to be made as efficient as possible to save time and money. And, many excellent radiologists have left the field because of simple technology inefficiencies such as this one. Coming home 20 minutes earlier every day to be with our families should be a much bigger priority for radiology practices and hospitals alike. Improving radiologists’ technical and computer training is a simple and relatively inexpensive fix.