Yale radiologists are staying up late for Bridgeport Hospital. The Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging at Yale School of Medicine now has three emergency radiologists working overnight to help care for emergency room patients at Bridgeport Hospital as well as four other Yale New Haven Health locations.
“A lot of diagnosis hinges on imaging, especially when it comes to trauma,” said Jason Teitelbaum, MD, medical director for Emergency and Trauma Radiology who helped implement Bridgeport’s overnight radiology program.
“As a Level 1 trauma center, Yale New Haven Hospital sees a lot of transfers from other hospitals, so we have a wealth of experience with high-acuity cases,” Teitelbaum explained. “Now we’re able to share our clinical acumen and provide rapid, high-quality care to other patients and hospitals.”
Teitelbaum, an assistant professor of radiology & biomedical imaging, joined Yale in 2017 as a fellow in the Healthcare in Radiology track, while also earning an MBA at Yale School of Management, graduating in 2019.
“Jason was instrumental in putting the Bridgeport program in place,” said Rob Goodman, MB BChir, chair of the Department of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging and radiologist-in-chief for Yale New Haven Health System. “Taking on the service from a teleradiology company that Bridgeport used previously allowed Jason to put his business training into action,” Goodman added.
That training including business operations as well as data analysis. “One of my favorite classes at the business school was operations. I learned to look at how a service line operates and how to make it more efficient,” Teitelbaum said. “At Yale we are fortunate to have an extraordinary analytics team and they were able to compile all the radiology studies that were done at Bridgeport Hospital during the past two years. Armed with that information, we could see how many radiology studies were done each night and determine how we would need to increase staff to meet those demands.”
Once the business plan was approved, Teitelbaum tapped into his management skills when he asked emergency radiologists to staff a new swing shift, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., and an additional overnight shift from 10:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.
“Some people thrive while working at night but others prefer a more traditional workday, so we had to explain our reason for implementing these new shifts,” Teitelbaum said. “Not surprisingly, our hardworking and devoted group of radiologists includes quite a few night owls who were willing to pick up these extra shifts. It just made the whole transition and expansion seamless,” he said.
“What’s great about radiology, especially Yale radiology, is that the schedule is so flexible. We have staggered shifts throughout the day so that you can craft your schedule into what you want it to be,” he said. “You don’t have to give up your life for your clinical practice or your clinical practice to attend meetings and do administrative work. There is the option to go in at 5 or 8 p.m. for an evening or a swing shift.”
Working in the field of medicine appealed to Teitelbaum from a young age. “I was accepted in high school into a combined eight-year medical school program, so from age 17 I knew I was going to be a doctor,” said Teitelbaum, who graduated from Albany Medical College in 2012. “What I really like is that I’ve created this blended model where I’m a clinician, but I also can use my business background to work closely with the hospital and administration. Both of these roles are fulfilling and challenging.”
He was drawn to emergency radiology because of its immediacy and the diversity of cases and patients that he sees. “With emergency radiology, the most important thing is what is affecting the patient right now,” he said. “And it’s also one of the few practices where you look at a lot of different radiographic modalities and parts of the body, with patients of every age – you have newborns, pediatrics, teens, adults, and seniors, so it’s a very diverse patient population that you’re caring for.”