by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | July 24, 2020
Replacement: AI is not expected to replace radiologists during the pandemic, due to the fact that imaging, while valuable, was excluded early on as a viable screening method for COVID-19. Instead, it is predicted to augment the productivity of radiologists in the future. The radiology community, however, should be wary that lack of support for APP radiology assistants (RAs) practicing independently may lead to the demise of RAs or cause APPs to seek out other medical APP groups.
Research and educational changes: Radiologists will be limited in their ability to attend in-person meetings, instead having to rely on virtual formats. While this loss will have an impact, it may give way to more structured processes for inclusion on committees and projects, which may benefit a more diverse group, according to McGinty. Her department is setting up a “virtual visiting professor” exchange program for trainees to learn from external speakers.
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Cyber and terrorist attacks, epidemics and pandemics: Protests, such as those over the murder by police of George Floyd and conditions like climate change, are expected to enhance the disruptions during the pandemic, along with a second wave of COVID-19 cases predicted in the fall. Weill Cornell Medicine has deployed home-working capabilities quickly, based on its scenario planning, which showed that future departmental planning would need to account for the potential continuation of home-working and double down on redundancy and data security.
McGinty and her colleagues agree that honesty and transparency are needed to keep teams engaged and prepare for situations like this. Decisions may be made with some uncertainty about the outcomes, but leaders who take responsibility for decisions and actively seek out different opinions will inform their decision-making and improve organizational performance for the long term as well as in crisis situations. This, in effect, will help keep optimism strong.
“Think about what’s going well for you, what you think you need to improve on, think about the competitive environment and threats to your business,” said McGinty regarding scenario planning. “Then think about where you see your opportunities to be more successful. You start with that, and then you have to think about when you see opportunities, how you’re going to execute or operationalize those, and if you see threats, how you’re going to mitigate them.”
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