Radiology Pathway Navigation – A New Direction

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Louisa Edwards, CT Colon Advanced Radiography Practitioner

All Radiology patients need to attend in person for each examination they require, however this can cause limitations to patient flow in terms of urgent and planned care. All Radiology modalities collaborate well however, there is no continuous path or connection for each patient or between each modality. Delays can develop from this loss of connection lengthening the patient pathway, streamlining this system would allow a more synchronous patient journey leading to more prompt diagnosis and optimal treatment options.


Radiology investigations and procedures, along with the pathway process can cause unnecessary anxiety for patients. Introducing new Radiology pathway systems will provide more clinical coordination for the patient ensuring they receive a seamless experience. Work is also required on pre appointment patient information and developing an electronic referrals system, both of which can contribute significantly to throughput, flow, and patient experience. This improved pathway system of coordination will significantly support the delivery of the Single Cancer Pathway (SCP).


The aim of the project is to implement a new Radiology Navigation system by attaining these key objectives:

  • Streamline & reduce delays in radiology pathways.


  • Reduce the waiting times from request to appointment.


  • Provide coordinated care for those patients requiring multiple examinations.


  • Provide a Radiology point of contact for patients and pathway teams.


  • Improve pre and post procedure patient information – developing online access.


  • Improve the Radiology referral system.


Work will involve reviewing each National Optimal Pathway within cancer services, beginning with Lower GI and Lung pathways. Process review will be undertaken for Radiology requesting which will include following each specialty request into each modality using process mapping. This data will show throughput time frames with any suspect areas of concern being targeted for development, by streamlining and changing the processes used. Using these newly developed streamlined pathways will reduce footfall within the department, lowering the resources needed and preventing patients from not attending. A Radiology Navigator will provide a link between each Pathway within cancer services, connecting the patient to Radiology and providing more beneficial Radiology information. Patients will be able to have more telephone contact and conversations, with more appropriate opportunity for discussion of procedures in greater detail if necessary, with written information available.


Benefits include:

  • Radiology Navigator providing continuity as a point of contact for patients and pathway teams.


  • Streamlined pathways & reduced waiting times which improves the patient timeline for treatment and their overall experience.


  • Provide coordinated care for those patients requiring multiple examinations.


  • Improve patient information (including developing online patient resources), allowing patients to have more input into their Radiology appointments.


  • Improve the Radiology referral system – build on work currently being undertaken.


  • Use specialist Radiographers and Navigator to undertake more vetting of requests to reduce costs and free up Radiologist time.


Development will continue past the initial set up and implementation of the project, and will serve to be the impetus required to maintain and improve the standards within Radiology. This Navigation system can be shared within departments, hospitals and Health Boards throughout Wales, the UK and beyond.