Successful people who thrive in their careers are typically engaged in their workload and manage responsibilities well, with a keen focus uninterrupted by distractions. Generally, it isn’t too difficult to decipher actual “work” from mundane tasks that are counterproductive or irrelevant, yet many people are guilty of partaking in the latter more often than not. 

Diagnostic radiologists are typically responsible for interpreting images and providing reports outlining the findings. Whether certain clinical questions, managerial roles, or imaging protocols are involved, the overall group functions more efficiently when everyone is equally engaged. 

Once in a while, radiologists might feel like they are partaking in mundane activities; for example, if a reporting template doesn’t match their personal style or search pattern. Another scenario might include defending one’s reporting language against a hypercritical QA reviewer. 

Based on what the radiologist believes their work should encompass, one radiologist’s critical tasks are another’s. 

To bridge the gap between critical and mundane tasks, one must note the subtle perverse incentives that might be happening in the workplace. Government, regulatory, and academic fields all succumb to these inadequacies when someone is rewarded for bad behavior or punished for good.

Common issues in radiology include no reward for productivity or no survey of who is contributing to the overall team effort. Radiologists who produce more RVUs might be extra stressed, which increases malpractice liability, both of which are perverse disincentives. To regain equilibrium, the radiologist can reduce their efforts or take more breaks, for example.

When certain team members become more aware of their performance impediments, better tools, more personnel, etc., are appointed. Once leadership is alerted, staff surveys are performed, which could lead to new hardware, software, coworkers, and more. 

Without any sign of stress in the system, those who rank higher on the totem pole are unable to specifically outline any issues or provide support. However, with help from other team members through surveys and the like, leadership can improve the situation based on feedback. 

Constructive evaluation and prevention is key in reducing perverse incentives and increasing overall morale. 

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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: