Patricia A. Helke, MD, MBA
Q: How do you add value to your interactions with referring physicians?
In the age of the commoditization of radiology, it is critical to add value to our practice interactions with referring physicians. To this end, our practice tries to make our service to our colleagues personalized.
Every month, we target a percentage of our referring physicians to call reports in to, allowing us to maintain contact. We are available for questions and answers and make ourselves visible in the workplace. We have an open, friendly environment with a “no-closed-door” policy.
“Our practice believes that to survive and flourish in this ever changing health care environment, we have to be an integral part of the medical team.” — Patricia A. Helke, MD, MBA
We have a concierge radiologist at each of several offsite imaging centers associated with large physician groups. These individuals are available to discuss results of studies with patients, and they routinely interact with referring physicians. Our IR radiologists travel to the doctors’ offices, rather than the opposite. This level of service requires a large referral practice, but our referring physicians appreciate the convenience it provides. There is also the ability to have voice recognition software, which allows for real-time, nearly instantaneous reporting. Voice recognition speeds the assessment of patients for clinicians, resulting in significantly faster turnaround times. This has been the most influential factor in elevating satisfaction surveys by both our patients and referring physicians.
Lastly, we offer a lecture series from our subspecialty-trained members to educate our referrers at our quarterly medical staff meetings, to the residents at Creighton University Medical Center, and at system-sponsored health care events. Our practice believes that to survive and flourish in this ever changing health care environment, we have to be an integral part of the medical team that helps coordinate patient care and not just generate a written report.
By Patricia A. Helke, MD, MBA, President, Radiology Consultants of the Midwest