Who he is: In addition to leading the department of radiology and imaging sciences at University of Utah, Dr. Satoshi Minoshima, PhD, is subspecialized in nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. He’s published numerous articles, book chapters, and abstracts and given educational lectures internationally on neuroimaging, dementia, and technology development. He invented a diagnostic statistical mapping technology in which software analyzes brain images and translates them to maps to improve physicians’ interpretation. This has been utilized in more than 50 countries and was used by his team to discover a very early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. His latest endeavor was sparked by recognizing an opportunity to elevate patient care and streamline work processes by providing radiologists at University of Utah Hospital a new reading room as part of a new infill project.

Year in review: The existing state at the hospital was radiologists dispersed in makeshift facilities without any organization by specialty or dedicated space, resulting in frequent moves and a backlog of work that hindered the delivery of results. Realizing the infill project presented an opportunity to correct this, Minoshima is described in his nomination as emerging as a relentless proponent of change. For example, he identified that thoughtful organization of the radiology team would support more frequent consultation and discussion of findings and introduced a concierge-desk concept designed to accommodate physicians requesting to view results or have a consultation. But, most importantly, he involved his team at all levels of the process to ensure the vision became a reality. For example, an associate turned the design of the new space into a virtual reality exercise, allowing the staff to get a feel for how the new space would operate and facilitating effective feedback on design iterations. Minoshima even allowed his team to spend non-billable time on the design process to ensure that every necessary perspective was brought in to shape the plan. The result is the Reading Room of the Future, a complex, multifloored project in the middle of the hospital. With an open-workplace feel, the space features glass doors and walls, permitting areas for individual subspecialties, indirect wavelengths of light to ease eye fatigue, wall screens for in-room conferencing, and a zero-gravity viewing station, among the innovations introduced.

Industry impact: With the volume of imaging increasing dramatically, radiologists are required to interpret numerous scans each day in addition to frequent consultations with clinicians. This project presented an opportunity to create a space that supports both of those functions while also implementing solutions that enhance radiologists’ well-being. With Minoshima at the helm of a multidisciplinary response, including staff as well as faculty and architects, he was able to tease out design ideas that are truly innovative. Delivering an efficient, flexible, and futuristic workplace not only maximizes the environment for a better staff experience but doing so translates to better patient care, as well.