Today’s patients are truly consumers and have more access to information than ever before. However, patient-centered care has not been fully embraced in the field of radiology, leaving room for significant improvement. This means further developing upon tools that already exist, like patient portals, while also exploring more innovative options for patients, like video tutorials that can help patients prepare for appointments. Two recent articles in HealthTech Magazine and Radiology Business touch on these points and offer recommendations.
In the Radiology Business article, “The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Rendering Interpretations in Layperson’s Language,” David Hackney, MD, a radiologist, and professor of radiology, argues that although it can be difficult for radiologists to relay medical information in a way that is clear for patients, it is undoubtedly an important step to take in providing a patient-centered experience. On the other hand, Andre Konski, MD, MBA, professor of clinical radiation oncology at Penn Medicine, believes that patients should only have access to their radiology reports when there is a radiologist or physician present to provide an explanation. Which of these views do you agree with more? There are clearly different perspectives among radiologists themselves on how to best go about improving patient-centered care. In fact, Andrew “AJ” Gunn, MD, an interventional radiologist, even offers an additional perspective as he describes patient-centered care as “inevitable” and something that will give practices a “competitive edge” the faster they embrace it.
Meanwhile, “What It Takes to Introduce Tech-Driven Patient-Centered Care in Radiology” in HealthTech Magazine, explores specific methods in which radiologists can focus on patient-centered care. For instance, the article suggests that online appointment scheduling, which is already the reality for many practices, could be developed into an app that would also provide other information like video tutorials, procedure instructions, and more in order to consolidate information that would be useful for patients ahead of their appointments. The article also emphasizes the importance of patient portals and even suggests a text notification system that would notify patients when their studies are ready with an option to read an explanation in lay language.
These insights provide a valuable lens into radiologists’ perspectives of how to navigate patient care and how radiology can be made more personal with the help of technology. Patient-centered care continues to be a priority for patients, and it is essential that they have the opportunity to understand their health through radiology results and reports. Cloud management platforms are a great way for radiologists to begin the transition to patient-centered care. With tools like an accessible patient portal and a one-click CD uploader, patients can have the opportunity to be more proactive in their patient experience. Check out Ambra’s “Back to Basics” blog series to get an introduction to the cloud and then register for this upcoming webinar to learn more specifics about the transition to patient-centered radiology.