The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) hailed the extension of an American College of Radiology (ACR) resolution in support of clinical patient management by vascular and interventional radiologists as "an important reminder of the critical contribution these minimally invasive specialists bring to quality patient healthcare."
"Passage of ACR's Resolution 22 is a continued endorsement of interventional radiology's unique contribution of supporting innumerable clinical services while providing direct care," said SIR President Brian F. Stainken, MD, FSIR. "Interventional radiologists provide patients with the least invasive and most advanced treatment options for a wide variety of medical conditions, offering less risk, less pain and less recovery time when compared to open surgery."
The ACR endorsed interventional radiology's clinical patient-centered nature 10 years ago, recognizing that interventional radiologists need an office presence, time allocated to see patients, time to consult with referring physicians and time to see patients on the ward, said Stainken, an interventional radiologist at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, R.I. Reaffirmation of that policy came during ACR's 86th annual meeting and chapter leadership conference held May 5 in Washington, D.C.
The ACR policy support comes at a time when interventional radiologists have spent more than three decades working behind the scenes to solve the toughest medical problems, explained Stainken.
"Interventional radiologists historically have worked on the sidelines as the 'specialists' specialist,' helping other doctors manage their patients with the most difficult problems--for example, working collaboratively with surgeons with trauma and transplant care," said Stainken. "While those physician relationships remain in place, interventional radiologists are taking positions in the front line of medical care. In delivering high-quality healthcare, interventional radiologists are formalizing their clinical role with offices, doing rounds and providing formalized consultation."
The ACR said it encourages and supports the establishment of interventional radiology clinical services within the practice of radiology groups, including establishment of an adequate clinical team; adequate space dedicated for clinical visits; inpatient admitting service; dedicated time for seeing inpatients and patients in a clinic; a noninvasive vascular laboratory; clerical services for scheduling, insurance authorization and billing of procedures and evaluation/management services; and support for time and materials for promotional and educational efforts.