Meeting the Moment: Taking decisive action in uncertain times

This collection of Imaging 3.0 case studies focuses on crisis management and the COVID-19 response. In it, you will find examples of how leaders have leveraged experience and creativity in the face of incomplete data to enable teams to act decisively in these uncertain times. 

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In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
— THEODORE ROOSEVELT

How do we respond to a virus or other crisis that we’ve never encountered before? At times, we need to make decisions with incomplete information, weigh risks that are impossible to quantify, and attempt to navigate a stream of cascading events toward a desired objective.

As physicians, we feel most comfortable making decisions supported by “good data,” resulting from investigation and analysis. But what if we do not know the relationship between a specific cause and effect? Worse, what if we are not aware of all the variables affecting our outcomes, the so-called “unknown unknowns”? During emergent crises, organizations are at risk for “analysis paralysis,” but in the end, we may understand why things happen only in retrospect.

In the moment, leaders must act decisively, but rather than making broad, sweeping decisions with far-reaching effects, we must make smaller, more frequent decisions. Like baby steps along a hidden path, we must make the best decisions we can with available data while also relying on our experience. We will count on experts but must also avoid “entrained thinking” in which innovative solutions by non-experts are overlooked or dismissed. And perhaps most importantly, we must recognize that we will sometimes be wrong and be able to learn from our mistakes.

This collection of Imaging 3.0 case studies focuses on crisis management and the COVID-19 response. In it, you will find examples of how leaders have leveraged experience and creativity in the face of incomplete data to enable organizations to act decisively in these uncertain times.

While we can’t anticipate every crisis that will come our way, we can put solid processes and plans in place to make sure that we’re ready when the time comes to meet the moment.

U.S Army Col. Eric Roberge, MDU.S. Army Col. Eric Roberge, MD
Chief of radiology at Madigan Army Medical Center

Case Studies in this Issue


Overcoming Adversity

As COVID-19 flared in New Orleans after Mardi Gras, one radiology department took swift action to deploy new strategies and rethink processes to keep people safe and boost morale.
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Crisis Management

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, private-practice radiology leaders take action to ensure quality patient care — and the long-term viability of their businesses.
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Harvey's Heroes

Dedicated Texas radiologists spend days and nights delivering patient care during Hurricane Harvey.
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Safely Reopening

A New York radiology department collaborates across a large enterprise to safely resume elective and non-urgent imaging following the initial COVID-19 surge.
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Ready for Anything

A radiologist leads mass casualty preparedness planning at a military medical center in Tacoma, Washington.
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