The Vision to Heal
The SIR's vision of innovation, collaboration, and patient-driven care highlights the value of interventional radiology to our practices.
Those who attended the 2015 Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) Annual Meeting were introduced to The Vision to Heal, a new brand and vision for the society and the clinical practice of interventional radiology (IR).
This vision communicates the value of image-guided, minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to our patients, physician colleagues, hospitals, health systems, and policy-makers. This renewed focus by the organization highlights how interventional radiologists are delivering on the mandates of modern health care through image-guided therapies that deliver breakthrough treatments, change medical practice, and improve the standard of patient care.
It's no secret among radiologists that image-guided procedures create fewer burdens on patients and achieve better outcomes through the use of innovative technology. With the challenges of health care reform looming, now is the time for organized radiology to renew its efforts to communicate this message outside of radiology. We need to empower radiologists with the tools to deliver their message with a strong, unified voice. We at the ACR share the SIR's belief that the potential of image-guided therapy to help solve our toughest medical problems is indeed limitless. We have a great story to tell about interventional radiology, and congratulations to the SIR for developing this campaign to take the message where it needs to be heard the most.
Interventional radiology's message for the health care community and health care policy-makers is built on five key characteristics of interventional radiologists that also apply to the entire specialty of radiology: innovative, agile, confident, collaborative, and patient-driven. Interventional radiologists are innovative because they are leading the way for others and championing the development and use of new technologies; agile because they are inspired by the limitless potential of their specialty and take a nimble approach to problem solving, readily accepting the need to learn new skills; confident because they take pride in the care of their patients and the role that IR plays in leading medical care forward; collaborative because they seek ways to work with others to advance shared goals and build relationships that benefit their patients; and patient-driven because they believe that patients deserve informed choices, and clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction are the ultimate metrics of success, reflecting the best possible longitudinal patient care. Not surprisingly, these attributes are closely aligned with the ACR's Imaging 3.0™ and the RSNA's Radiology Cares initiatives. Radiology has a strong role to play in team-based, value-driven, patient-centered health care, and promoting interventional radiology in the focused way outlined in The Vision to Heal is an opportunity for all of our practices to champion our IR services. Interventional radiology along with breast imaging are radiology's time-proven areas that best demonstrate our capability in patient-centered care.
Both the SIR and the ACR realize that slogans alone will not be enough to achieve these ambitious visions for our future. A famous quote from Dr. Charles Dotter, venerated as the father of interventional radiology, warned that if radiologists did not provide clinical care, they would become nothing more than "high-priced plumbers." Radiologists, not their specialty organizations, will be the ones to achieve this vision, and both diagnostic and interventional radiologists will need to foster a new paradigm of collaboration to achieve this goal. Recognizing this need, the ACR, SIR, and Society for Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS) formed a joint task force to promote the clinical practice of IR and interventional neuroradiology. One of the outcomes was a revision of the joint practice parameter between the ACR, SIR, SNIS, and Society for Pediatric Radiology, outlining the best practices for integrating clinical interventional radiology service into our radiology practices.
The Imaging 3.0 case study library has a section exclusively for interventional radiology. A recent case study, "Walking the Talk," articulates how practices can bring Dotter's vision to their practices. In the coming months, additional Imaging 3.0 case studies will show radiologists how to engage with hospital executives to promote the value of IR, interact with patients to demonstrate patient-centered care, and communicate with our colleagues through grassroots marketing to show the value of IR to patient care.
The College will also work collaboratively with the SIR to communicate the benefits of the clinical practice of IR to radiology practices, hospital administrators, referring physicians, policy-makers, and patients. The launch of the SIR's The Vision to Heal brand creates an opportunity for our specialty to take a fresh look at how we provide and promote interventional radiology services in our practices.
By Bibb Allen Jr., MD, FACR, Chair