Walking the Walk

The newest ACR commission is setting out to revolutionize patient care. In the inaugural meeting in Augusta, GA, members got a crash course in what the future of health care might look like.

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“The way you have to teach patient- and family-centered care is by bringing the patient into the room.”

— Pat Sodomka, pioneer of patient-centered care

Chair James V. Rawson, MD, FACR, followed Sodomka’s advice to a tee when he launched the inaugural working group of ACR’s Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) in Augusta, GA, on February 11–12. And he didn’t only invite patients — he also included an architect, hospital leadership, nonprofit managers, technology representatives, and ACR leadership. “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it,” Rawson said, quoting Simon Sinek

The PFCC contains several committees — Informatics, Economics, Quality and Safety, and Outreach. The ACR commission includes members from across the country with a passion for patient-centered care.

Dr. Rawson introduced ideas on leading the changes in culture and practice, that are at the center of patient- and family-centered care. Participants viewed patient-centered videos and an Imaging 3.0 ™ case study that tells the story of one radiologist who became a patient and then revolutionized how her hospital interacts with patients. These outside resources sparked discussions on tailoring general leadership concepts to radiology’s unique perspective in the house of medicine. 

Individual radiologists also discussed the environments in which they practice. Many shared challenges in implementing effective change for improved patient-involved health care. Some radiologists reported practicing in institutions that already embrace patients and family members as partners in their health care. 

One example of this is Augusta University Medical Center, which participants toured as part of the meeting. Patients can play with colorful balloons and bubbles moving across a touch-sensitive, interactive wall in the pediatric imaging department. Participants saw a kitten scanner (a miniature model of a CT scanner), where children place a toy in the scanner and watch on a screen as the toy undergoes the procedure the child is about to receive. A visit to the mammography unit highlighted an imaging suite that provided the comfort and lighting of a warm, private residence.

With a continuous diet of stimulating information and thought-provoking guidance, the 40-member group constructed concepts together and by the end of the day translated their collective ideas into action plans. These plans will initiate a clearer future for radiologists as partners with patients in their health care and recovery.

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