Improving imaging experience through patient-centred communication

Shared by Radhika Narayanan | 0 0 0 | about 7 months ago

Direct communication between radiologist and patient is an area which has long been a deficiency for the field of radiology. There have been a number of barriers to effective radiologist patient communication including logistical challenges, a negative impact on efficiency, and uncertainty of the role of the radiologist in discussing results with patients, says a review article published online in the journal Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology. “Historically, the radiologist has relied upon their printed report as the primary medium of communication and care delivery. Informal in-person or telephone consultations with referring physicians have supplemented the communication process in specific instances. In general, however, there has been very little meaningful communication between radiologist and patient directly,” write authors Arvind Vijayasarathi, MD, MBA, MPH; Noriko Salamon, MD PhD (both with UCLA Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology Section); and Renuka Kharkar, MD (Carl T Hayden, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry).Today, patient consumerism is on the rise, as patients are often now paying the first dollar for healthcare services given the proliferation of high deductible health planshealth savings. With patients taking increasingly active roles in their own healthcare, it is imperative for radiologists to adopt a patient-centred approach to their practice. “This means that radiologists should consider the patient experience holistically, and look for opportunities to exceed patient expectations at each step along the way,” according to the authors. They emphasise that radiologist-patient communication is paramount to the patient-centred imaging experience.

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