RSNA13: Why patient-centered care must be a priority

Patient-centered care needs to be a bigger priority in the medical imaging field, several prominent radiologists have said this week at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting in Chicago. The concept holds potential to not only improve the quality of care delivered, but also patient attitudes about the industry, as a whole, according to Bibb Allen, Jr., who serves as vice-chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.

Allen and Mary Mahoney, chair of RSNA's Patient-Centered Radiology Steering Committee talked about the importance of patient-centered care at a special interest session Monday.

"Radiologists need to own all aspects of medical imaging, providing all care that is necessary and no care that is not," Allen told session attendees, according to the RSNA's Daily Bulletin. "It's about assuring appropriateness, documenting the quality and safety radiologists provide, actional reporting with evidence-based follow-up and empowered patients."

One way to improve patient-centeredness in the field, according to Mahoney, is increased involvement in projects such as RSNA Image Share, which gives patients online access to their medical images and encourages them to share those images, as necessary, among their providers. At a demonstration for Image Share Monday, radiology leaders involved on the project, including Richard Ruchman, chair of radiology at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., talked about the success of the program to date.

"Patients think it's great," Ruchman said, according to EHealth Insider. "The experience has been fantastic."

David Mendelson, a professor of radiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, also talked about the program's merits at the event. In October, Mendelson spoke to FierceMedicalImaging about RSNA Image share, for which he is a principal investigator.

"Sixty-five percent of ... patients signed into their system to look at their images," Mendelson told FierceMedicalImaging. "What this says to me is that we have grossly underestimated the interest patients have in their own care."

Allen, at the special interest session, said that better patient-centered care would create a "measurable role for radiologists in improving health."

"If we did that, the results would be improved patient safety and outcomes, more cost-effective care and an increased relevance for radiologists in the healthcare system," Allen said."[W]e would have a calculation of radiology's value in reducing per capita cost."

To learn more:
- read the Daily Bulletin feature
- here's the patient-centered session abstract
- here's the Image Share session abstract
- check out the EHealth Insider article

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