HealthManagement, Volume 19 - Issue 6, 2019

Summary: A modern successful radiology department team needs top-flight professionals in everything from imaging to social media management.

In the 90’s the term ‘Dream Team’ was used to name a Marvel Comics’ group of superheroes with different magical energies, surprising powers and marvellous skills.

Today, most people associate the term Dream Team with the 1992 Olympics U.S. men's basketball team, the first American Olympic team to feature players from the National Basketball Association. In management, the term Dream Team is considered to designate a set of leaders who are hard to come by. For us in radiology, a Dream Team means the cohort of top-flight leaders helping the chair to foster the long-term success of the department, a sort of Praetorian Guard (the elite bodyguards to Roman Emperors). A strong Dream Team generates recognition and waves the flag of radiology practice excellence. The more accomplished the leaders within the Dream Team, the higher is its recognition.

Dream Team members need to be carefully selected and strongly empowered. Although faculty is the professional nucleus of a department and the main source of information and insight (Thrall and Fessel 2019) other professionals (including nurses and technologists), should also be part of the Dream Team. To foster the visionary projects and initiatives that maintain the growth and prosperity in a radiology department, there are a number of skills each team member needs to have. From excellent communication skills to expert negotiating tactics, the Dream Team needs to work together to continuously bring innovative business to the group.

Dream Team members should cover all the strategic positions. Some positions can have more than one leader, but all positions should be covered in order to have a well-balanced structure. The key Dream Team positions include:

• Research and clinical trials.
• Education and certification.
• Clinical practice and innovation.
• Interventional and targeted therapies.
• Artificial Intelligence.
• Quality improvements and process optimisation.
• Patient safety and experience.
• Integrated diagnosis (radiology, pathology, genetics); and
• Communication (patients, students, news, social media).

Dream Team members should encourage organisational change practices (Gilmore and Lundström 2019).

• Multidisciplinary core team from all organisation layers with the right emotional commitment and skills.
• Simple, compelling vision and strategy.
• Successful communication to the department.
• Removal of roadblocks by enabling constructive feedback.
• Set ambitious but realistic goals.
• Eliminate all forms of waste; and
• Incorporate change as a core element of organisation development.

The Dream Team should promote an effective alignment between management (desired state perspective) and staff (present state perception) views to implement step by step the necessary actions.

Quick-win solutions on the improvements of organisational practices will enforce the team building and feeling of success (Martí-Bonmatí 2016).

Transformational leadership style stems for our moral commitment to change for the betterment of an organisation, through inspirational engaged followers. Close to 70% of organisational change management and innovation projects fail. Building the right team as a guiding coalition assures intellectual stimulation; increased sense of urgency; getting the right and coherent vision; communicating the vision for buy in; empowering ethical actions and followers; creating short term wins and anchoring changes in the corporate culture (Martí-Bonmatí 2016; Thomson et al. 2016).

In summary, the Dream Team will succeed if the organisation: reduces clinical and technical errors and mistakes; improves patient outcomes by lean approaches; increases productivity while decreases cost; improves employee, clinician and patient satisfaction; fosters continuous research and education; uses performance metrics in the entire process; innovates driven by better images and computing and participates in innovations important to radiology. Examples of such initiatives include:

  • Clinical trials with imaging data.
  • Real world data repositories with proven evidence.
  • Structured reporting and big data generation.
  • Artificial Intelligence; and
  • Image-guided therapy.

Key Points

  • A Dream Team is made up of leaders who are hard to come by.
  • A radiology Dream Team is a group which helps the chair to foster the long-term deparmental success.
  • The team should cover all strategic positions in a department.
  • Innovation is key to a team’s success.


Part of this manuscript was presented at the European Congress of Radiology (March 2019).


Martí-Bonmatí L et al. (2016) Organisational change in newly integrated medical imaging departments: increase commitment by team involvement. Journal, 16(3):258-265.

Lundström et al. (2017) PR Integrated Diagnostics: The Computational Revolution Catalyzing Cross-disciplinary Practices in Radiology, Pathology, and Genomics. Radiology. 285(1):12-1.

Pinto Dos Santos D, Baeßler B (2018) Big data, artificial intelligence, and structured reporting. Eur Radiol Exp, 2(1):42.

Thomson NB et al. (2016) Transformation and transformational leadership: a review of the current and relevant literature for academic radiologists. Acad Radiol, 23(5):592-599.

Thrall JH, Fessell DP (2019) Onboarding of New Radiology Department Chairmen. J Am Coll Radiol, pii: S1546-1440(19)30715-X.