Evaluating Efficiency of Time Use and Operational Costs in a Breast Clinic Workflow: A Comparative Analysis Between Automated Breast Ultrasound and Handheld Ultrasound

Nilgün Güldoğan*, Sıla Ulus, Özge Kovan, Aslıgül Aksan, Kaya Tokmakçıoğlu, Hatice Camgöz Akdağ, Ebru Yılmaz, Ebru Banu Türk, Erkin Arıbal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate efficiency of time use for radiologists and operational costs of automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) versus handheld breast ultrasound (HHUS). Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board, and informed consent was waived. One hundred and fifty-three patients, aged 21–81 years, underwent both ABUS and HHUS. The time required for the ABUS scanning and radiologist interpretation and the combined scanning and interpretation time for HHUS were recorded for screening and diagnostic exams. One-Way ANOVA test was used to compare the methods, and Cohen Kappa statistics were used to achieve the agreement levels. Finally, the cost of the methods and return of interest were compared by completing a cost analysis. Results: The overall mean ± standard deviation examination time required for ABUS examination was 676.2±145.42 seconds while mean scan time performed by radiographers was 411.76±67.79 seconds, and the mean radiologist time was 234.01±81.88 seconds. The overall mean examination time required for HHUS was 452.52±171.26 seconds, and the mean scan time and radiologist time were 419.62±143.24 seconds. The reduced time translated into savings of 7.369 TL/month, and savings of 22% in operational costs was achieved with ABUS. Conclusion: The radiologist’s time was reduced with ABUS in both screening and diagnostic scenarios. Although a second-look HHUS is required for diagnostic cases, ABUS still saves radiologists time by enabling a focused approach instead of a complete evaluation of both breasts. Thus, ABUS appears to save both medical staff time and operational costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Breast Health
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2023 by the Turkish Federation of Breast Diseases Societies/European Journal of Breast Health published by Galenos Publishing House.

Keywords

  • Automated breast ultrasound
  • handheld ultrasound
  • operational cost
  • radiologist
  • time savings

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