How Medical Imaging Helps Radiologists Put Patients First

2013-04-01
 

Patient CareIn a recent interview, George S. Bisset III, MD, RSNA President, asserted that   “…radiologists talk about ‘the’ patients, rather than ‘our’ patients, as if we are remote from their care. Until radiologists consider themselves a vital part of the clinical care team, we’re not going to be putting the patients first.”

As medical imaging software continues to advance technically, our ability to improve patient comfort grows with it, enhancing the overall experience that leads to well-being.

Key Factors in Placing Patients First

Workflow efficiency. With healthcare delivery, time is of the essence, and the radiology report is vital to the decisions leading to a patient’s treatment.  Diligent interpretations and quality reports are an important part of that equation.

At Main Line Health, in suburban Philadelphia, the organization has implemented integrated systems that deliver a signed radiology report directly to the attending physician in minutes. Using our Horizon Medical Imaging™ picture archiving and communications system (PACS) with Nuance’s PowerScribe® voice recognition solution, radiologists now have instant access to images.

They can also sign off on more than 85% of all reports at the time they are dictated, thus improving patient care and speeding up the decision-making of attending physicians.

Repeat procedures reduced. A recent American Journal of Roentgenology study, an abstract of which maybe found here, study concluded that importing outside images to PACS reduces the rate of repeat imaging. “Patients who brought their outside images to our institution and had the images imported were nearly five times less likely than patients whose outside images were not imported to undergo repeat imaging,” wrote the authors.

This not only reduces unnecessary costs and/or hospitalizations, but also reduces radiation exposure, which may be a concern for some.

Translating Procedures and Processes to People

Superior customer service, regardless of the industry, depends on many of the same qualities: good, clean, convenient facilities; friendly office staff; 24/7 access; good communication; and caring service.

In a hospital radiology department or medical imaging center, delivering on a “patients first” promise shouldn’t be too hard. Good access to care might translate to hosting a medical library archived on your website detailing common ailments requiring imaging or a 24-hour hotline for medical questions. Good communication would simple mean timely follow up on lab results.

And nothing means more to your patients than a friendly caring radiologist or doctor.

How would your facility rate on patient satisfaction?  I encourage you to share your thoughts via a comment below.

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