Radiologists Want More Involvement in Patient Care

June 21, 2017

Given the proper resources, radiologists would like to be more directly involved in patient care.

Radiologists would like to become more directly involved in patient care, but are not able to because of time and work constraints, according to a study published in Radiology.

Researchers from Ohio, Wisconsin, California, and Massachusetts conducted a survey to assess the attitudes and experiences concerning patient-centered radiology among members of the RSNA. The researchers sought to determine how the radiologists felt about communicating more directly with patients and their perceptions of what kept them from this communication.

“Patient-centered radiology is a lot more than giving results to patients,” lead author Jennifer L. Kemp, MD, a radiologist at Diversified Radiology in Denver, said in a release. “There are many other things we can do within the continuum of patient care, from scheduling all the way through billing, to improve the patient’s experience.”

A total of 5,999 radiologists were invited by e-mail to complete an anonymous electronic survey in which participants were asked to identify aspects of patient-centered care important to their practice, report on their interactions with patients, and share their opinions on radiologist-patient communication. Twelve percent (694) radiologists responded.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"60965","attributes":{"alt":"Jennifer L. Kemp, MD","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_9465417964987","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"7702","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 265px; width: 200px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"Jennifer L. Kemp, MD","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

The results showed that 89%(611 of 684) of the respondents agreed that promoting awareness of the role of radiology in patients’ overall health care is important to how they practice. But 73%(421 of 575) reported that time or workload frequently prevented them from communicating directly with patients. Seventy-four percent (423 of 572) reported that a personal sense of satisfaction was likely to motivate them to communicate more directly with patients, but many commented that changes to reimbursement and compensation would help them communicate with patients more directly.

“These results show that in radiology, our attitude has shifted but our practices are not entirely there yet,” Kemp said in the release. “We believe in the ideas, but we’re encountering obstacles in how to implement them. The key takeaways here are that radiologists are in agreement that patient-centered care is always our goal and that our efforts should continue to focus on how best to achieve that goal.”