Bulletin March 2019

Final Read

How do you foster patient- and family-centered care in your practice?

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Nominees for 2019 Positions

At the annual meeting, the ACR Council will vote on the following slate of candidates recommended by the College Nominating Committee (CNC).

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Patient- and Family-Centered Care


How can our patients become our partners? And why is it important that we think of them that way — that we expand the role that not only patients, but also their families, play in their own care? These are the important questions continuously circled in this ACR Bulletin special issue on patient- and family-centered care (PFCC). The pages of this issue illuminate the innovative and forward-thinking ways radiologists are approaching PFCC to be better partners to patients and their families — no matter the form that essential partnership might take.

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Calming Patients' Fears

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A California radiology practice leverages RadiologyInfo.org to ease patients’ anxiety about imaging.

For the patient in the exam room, the impending imaging study is anything but routine. Maybe she’s there because of a lump she hadn’t felt before. Maybe he’s wondering if he’ll ever be able to climb the stairs to his bedroom again without pain. Whatever brings patients into Desert Medical Imaging in southern California’s Coachella Valley, John F. Feller, MD, knows they already have plenty to worry about without being scared of the unfamiliar machines that will capture images of their bodies.

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My Genetically Altered Life

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A radiologist recounts her journey as a patient undergoing treatment for lymphoma — and its impact on her as a physician.

Wolverine, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, and Deadpool — superheroes most of us love. Why? They have super powers and escape death because of some type of genetic alteration. Humans have always been fascinated with escaping mortality.
I should be dead, probably two years ago. But I am alive. Although I do not have a super power, I am a genetically altered human.

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Report to the Patient

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Provider understanding and patient empowerment hinge on how radiologists present findings.

A radiologist’s report should be succinct, accurate, actionable, and easy for ordering providers and patients to understand. This is the message Hanna Zafar, MD, associate professor of radiology at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, sends to radiologists looking to move the needle on effective patient care.

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Changing the Conversation

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How can practices consider LGBTQ patients’ unique needs and become more inclusive?

Consider this fictionalized situation: Jack, a transgender man, is sitting in the waiting room of a breast imaging center. The staff at the front desk call out, “Jessica” (the name given to Jack at birth). When Jack responds and walks up to the staff person, the gender of the name called and the expressed gender of the person who walked up are obviously very different. Jack, the other patients in the waiting room, and the staff person now are all potentially uncomfortable. And for Jack, the center is no longer a safe space.

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One Size Does Not Fit All

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How can radiology departments improve the overall imaging experience for patients with obesity?

More than one-third of Americans are obese and the number continues to climb. In June of 2013, the AMA classified obesity as a disease, but the condition has challenged healthcare providers for decades, with radiology departments attempting to shoulder the weight of the obesity crisis and the logistical and technical hurdles it creates.1,2 Imaging larger patients poses unique challenges when it comes to obtaining the images, the quality of the images themselves, and the accessibility, comfort, and safety of the patients.

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A Sense of Belonging

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Our ability to bring about change is, in large part, based on the common foundation we share as radiologists.

I would like to use this March column to set the record straight on a few things: it’s St. Paddy’s (not Patty’s) Day, we don’t eat corned beef and cabbage in Ireland to celebrate, and until recently we spent the day attending church and the public houses closed early. Green beer? Absolutely not! Although I am a little curmudgeonly on the execution of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, I am inspired to see my Irish heritage celebrated so enthusiastically and by so many people. By some counts, the Irish diaspora numbers 80 million — not a bad statistic for a country with a resident population of less than 5 million.

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Leading the Field

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ACR recognizes leaders in the imaging community at this year’s annual meeting.

Each year, the College awards individuals whose work and dedication advances and strengthens the specialty. Spanning continents and subspecialties, this year’s recipients include individuals from across the community of imaging. Commendations will be awarded at the 2019 ACR Annual Meeting in May.

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Cost Discussions: What Do Patients and Families Want?

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High-quality, high-value healthcare should prioritize communication, coordination, and access.

Policymakers are committed to evaluating physicians on cost performance. Cost is an integral component of the Quality Payment Program and it will affect all clinicians and their organizations. However, has anyone asked patients, families, and caregivers what they need as it relates to cost? Someone has, and the results are interesting.

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Nurturing the Patient Relationship

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By placing patients at the center, radiologists can alleviate burnout and provide better care.

How can our patients become our partners? And why is it important that we think of them that way — that we expand the role that not only patients, but also their families, play in their own care?

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