With One Click
ACR’s PFCC toolkit gives radiologists the information they need at their fingertips to transform their practices.
Julie G. Moretz, assistant vice president of patient- and family-centered care (PFCC) for Augusta University Health, knows the power of PFCC first-hand. When her son Daniel was diagnosed with heart disease at birth and underwent 12 surgeries and a heart transplant all before the age of eight, Moretz and her husband wanted to be as involved with his care as possible.
“I’ll never forget one of the first scans Daniel had as a baby,” says Moretz. “As the technologist started the process, I saw Daniel begin to vomit. No one was near him and I couldn’t get to him fast enough. He was choking. I frantically banged on the glass window to alert someone as to what was happening.”
Now, there are different protocols in place to make sure that families like Moretz’s never have to feel this way. Families can sit with patients during scans, wait with them in waiting rooms, and be there for them throughout the medical process. For most patients, and especially those with no knowledge of the medical system, it is difficult to advocate for themselves if they are not privy to how care works. Providing that knowledge is the goal of the ACR PFCC radiologist toolkit — which contains resources on initial assessment, planning, education, and evaluation of PFCC in practice.
“Patients and caregivers want to be involved and that is a better way for physicians to provide care,” says Ian A. Weissman, DO, FACR, staff radiologist at Milwaukee Veterans Health Administration and chair of the PFCC toolkit committee. “Our goal is to have the best information on PFCC available and accessible with one click of a mouse.”
According to Weissman, the toolkit contains resources specific to various practice environments, including private radiology practices, children’s and academic hospitals, and veterans’ health. It is customized based on the needs and specialty of the providers and gathers all the best practice information in one easy-to-navigate website. It provides everything from articles and videos to case studies and real patient stories.
Weissman notes that as radiologists scroll through the toolkit, it becomes clear to them that there are a slew of creative options to integrate patient-focused care into everyday practice. He adds that users are able to add resources they find useful and share insights with the network of providers that use the toolkit.
“When providers make a point of prioritizing patients, outcomes get better,” says Weissman. “For those who don’t know where to begin or what PFCC actually looks like in practice, online tools like this one can make all the difference.”
As division chief of breast imaging at the University of Vermont, Sally D. Herschorn, MD, FACR, is well aware of patient needs. A member of the toolkit committee, she says, “Many new scenarios arise every day in practice that require innovative approaches to providing the best patient experience. Having the toolkit, where you can easily find solutions to providing patient-centered care, is a big plus. Although we often come up with our own solutions to problems, not having to reinvent the wheel and knowing a solution has the support of patient advocates makes things much easier.”
Moretz believes that when healthcare providers implement PFCC, it empowers patients to be involved in their own care — something she strongly advocates for in her role on the toolkit committee and as a patient advocate.
“Given that value-based care is linked to measuring and improving the patient experience — now a major focus of most hospitals — it is important for radiologists to understand how they can engage patients and their families in care,” says Moretz. “The PFCC toolkit walks them through how to do just that.”
By Ivana Rihter, freelance writer, ACR Press