How radiologists can improve care centered on patient, family

Establishing patient- and family-centered models of care is a goal all radiologists should strive for. With reimbursement models increasingly tied to health outcomes, radiology is in position to add value to the healthcare system.

A civil discourse article led by Priscilla J. Slanetz, MD, with the department of radiology with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, published online Jan. 2 in The Journal of the American College of Radiology shared perspectives from academics of how they view the road to achieving patient-centric care.

Lucy Spalluto, MD, a faculty member with the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, pointed to two principal commitments to achieve results: patient-reported measures and organizational diversity.

Patient-reported measures include preference in the process of care, patient satisfaction with the imaging experience, likelihood to return, trust in the health system, quality of communication, understanding results and health outcomes.

Creating a more diverse workforce is also top-priority for Spalluto.

“Radiology organizations should strive to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce. Patients and their families are more at ease and seek more information when they identify with their caregivers,” wrote Spalluto.

Carolynn Debenedectis, MD, residency program director, University of Massachusetts, believes this shift needs to take place early on for radiologists. “If [patient- and family-centered care] PFCC is stressed from Day 1 of radiology residency training, it will become part of the normal everyday culture of radiology for these trainees.”

The American College of Radiology PFCC Outreach and Education Committees are currently devising a curriculum and tool kit of resources to bring standard methods into residency.

Perhaps the most important perspective shared was that of Andrea Borondy Kitts, a patient from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts, who points out patients “seldom” meet the radiologist or see their reports.

Borondy sees developing and providing patient-friendly radiology reports directly to patients as an opportunity to “reduce undue patient confusion and anxiety, and minimize potential legal concerns.”