Q: What can radiologists do to become visible members of the care team?
I look forward to the day when our patients routinely view their radiologist in the same way they see their internist or cardiologist.
As health care pivots to new delivery models, our specialty's survival will depend on engaging patients more directly. Patients need to know that radiologists are doctors at the center of the care team, and it's our job to help this happen.
How can we achieve this? We need to change our practice patterns to place the patient at the center of our workflow, rather than the imaging report or our beloved technology. With increasing consumerism in health care and shifting payment practices, there has never been a better opportunity for us to occupy a chair at the patient care table.
“We need to change our practice patterns to place the patient at the center of our workflow, rather than the imaging report or our beloved technology.” — Roger S. Eng, MD, MPH, FACR
The good new is each of us has the capacity to better engage our patients. There are a host of opportunities for this, from face-to-face consultations to imaging-centric patient portals and social media involvement. I know many groups in California have already begun this transition. The most successful have grown their practices despite a challenging environment. A shift to a more patient-centric specialty will not be easy, but we have the skills and expertise to contribute more visibly to patient care. Let's use them to do just that.
Roger S. Eng, MD, MPH, FACR, President, Golden Gate Radiology Medical Group, Orinda, Calif.