DR Quickly Adapts and Strengthens Operations.

By: Matt Grimes, Senior Vice President of Operations -

As healthcare facilities and businesses across the nation grappled with the sudden shift in operations due to COVID-19, Desert Radiology became a real-time response team, quickly learning and adapting to the ever-evolving landscape. What our team has discovered during the past four months has ultimately altered the way our practice will operate to ensure safety and protection of both patients and team members now, in the future and for the next unforeseen crisis.

At Desert Radiology, we have always aimed to streamline our operational functions to increase efficiency and quality in all services we provide. When the pandemic hit, our teams mobilized quickly to develop and implement the safety protocols and systems necessary to safeguard the continuation of essential imaging services to our community.

One of the first and major shifts was establishing remote working conditions for eligible teammates and radiologists.  Through our centralized software, which enables our staff to access our network securely, many team members were transferred to remote work areas almost immediately when the pandemic hit.  When 1 October struck our community, a team of our radiologists mobilized to hospital sites to provide onsite diagnostic and interventional radiology services.  However, several of our radiologists were able to instantaneously begin working remotely, reviewing images of the countless shooting victims and providing interpretations instantly for emergency physicians to address and treat injuries properly. Providing our radiologists and team members with the technology to work remotely has proven to be an effective tactic to elevate our level of care and productivity. This approach used is one that our practice intends to maintain as part of our standard capabilities. 

Another example of operational growth during this pandemic was the centralizing of our 3D construction laboratory. This concept was one that our practice had been contemplating prior to the pandemic and it rapidly presented usefulness at the beginning of the virus outbreak.  The centralized 3D Reconstruction lab and change in policy was fast tracked out of necessity at the onset of the closures. This operational change has allowed for consistent imaging reconstruction and moreover assisted in decreasing the number of team members in one facility at a time. This is a standard operating procedure that will remain for the foreseeable future.

Throughout this pandemic, our teams have rallied around the undeniable fact that our present and future will function differently, complete with layers, complexities and fluidity. To support our practice in maintaining the highest level of readiness, our executive team, physicians and administrative staff participate in weekly seminars from frontline physicians and experts regarding new protocols to consider and implement within the healthcare industry.  This commitment to acquiring the knowledge allowed our team to swiftly adjust to our “new normal” and act fast to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community at large.  Without delay, we put in place several processes at our outpatient facilities to combat the spread of the virus.  Immediately, COVID-19 screening check points were established at all open imaging centers. To comply with social distancing recommendations, virtual waiting room arrangements were implemented.  This allowed our practice to continue safely and effectively providing essential imaging services to our community throughout the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a relentless reality check for all industries, especially healthcare, around the globe. Moving forward, our team will continue to analyze and gain understanding for evolving trends as they relate to the success of our operation. 

At Desert Radiology, the promise woven through all protocols, new and old, is that we will work swiftly and efficiently to maintain a strong and high level of excellence, trust, care and support for our patients. As a leading authority in imaging services, we will continue to look for ways to innovate our operations that will allow us to be even more adaptable and resilient when faced with the next unexpected crisis.

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