Survey finds radiologists want greater involvement in patient care

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | June 20, 2017
Business Affairs CT X-Ray
But workload and time-constraints
stand in the way
In 2014, the CEO and president of Imaging Consultants Inc., Lawrence Muroff, predicted that radiologists will have to make themselves visible to patients or risk becoming insignificant.

A new survey published in the journal Radiology three years later shows that radiologists agree with that sentiment.

“Patient-centered radiology is a lot more than giving results to patients,” Dr. Jennifer L. Kemp, lead author, said in a statement. “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.”
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Kemp and her colleagues from the RSNA Patient-Centered Radiology Steering Committee surveyed 694 RSNA members and found that 89 percent believe it's important to promote the awareness of radiology's role in patients' overall health care.

However, only 31 percent of radiology practices actually do that and 21 percent commonly deliver imaging results to patients in person. That's largely due to a number of barriers out of the radiologists' control.

Seventy-three percent reported that time and/or workload frequently prevented them from communicating directly with patients.

Kemp proposed that social media could be a solution because it's "where our patients are these days and where they get a lot of their medical information."

She also believes that moving radiology reading rooms into patient clinics is part of the solution. Research has shown that this helps improve radiology-patient communication.

Nevertheless, patients seem to be pleased with their radiologists. A study from February published in the American Journal of Roentgenology found that most U.S. radiologists receive favorable satisfaction scores from their patients.

"Patients usually don't have neutral opinions about their radiologists. The message here is an important one: when we make an impression, either good or bad, patients will react accordingly," Dr. Richard Duszak of Emory University, said in a statement.

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