Utilizing Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing to Increase Efficiency in Ultrasound-Guided Breast Biopsy Practice

Sadia Choudhery, Jessica A. Stellmaker, Amber L. Hanson, Jaysen Ness, L. Chida, Bryana Johnson, Amy Lynn Conners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this study, we used time-driven activity-based costing to increase efficiency in our ultrasound-guided breast biopsy practice by understanding costs associated with this procedure. Methods: We assembled a multidisciplinary team of all relevant stakeholders involved in ultrasound-guided breast biopsies, including a radiologist, a lead technologist, a clinical assistant, a licensed practical nurse, and a procedural support assistant. The team mapped each step in an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy from the time of scheduling a biopsy to patient checkout. We completed on average 20 time observations of each step involved in these biopsies from a provider's perspective. Using capacity cost rate, we calculated the cost of all resources including personnel, supply, room, and equipment costs. Several costly steps were identified in the process, which led to the intervention of changing our overlapping biopsy times to staggered biopsy times. Time observations for each step and cost calculations were repeated postintervention. Results: Our postintervention data showed that the total time spent by the radiologist in an ultrasound breast biopsy decreased by 28%, accounting for 56% of the total cost in comparison with 63% pre-intervention. The radiologist's wait time decreased by 38%, accounting for 28% of the total cost in comparison with 35% pre-intervention. Our total cost of the procedure decreased by 20%, and the personnel cost decreased by 25%. Conclusions: Time-driven activity-based costing is a practical way to calculate costs and identify non-value-added steps, which can foster strategies to improve efficiency and minimize waste.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Breast biopsy
  • cost
  • time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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