The Road Less Traveled

Find a path to patient-centered radiology by following in the footsteps of Imaging 3.0® leaders.

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Robert Frost, one of America's most-celebrated poets, once said, "Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."


In this age of profound changes in health care delivery models, radiologists are at a crossroads. They can keep doing exactly what they're doing, despite the changing practice environment. Or they can take aggressive steps to extend their reach beyond the reading room and develop new strategies that put patients at the center of value-driven care. The option they choose will indeed make all the difference.

For radiologists looking to improve the lives of their patients, forging into the unknowns of patient-centered care can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, a cadre of Imaging 3.0® leaders is providing a roadmap to guide radiologists into the future of patient-centered care. These seven Imaging 3.0 case studies spotlight radiologists who are making change happen and delivering value to the patient experience.

Note markerScanning Kindly

Imaging professionals in Pakistan are helping their youngest cancer patients overcome fear and anxiety in the imaging room. A team at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, adopted an initiative to calm anxious young patients who need dynamic renal scans, reducing the amount of sedation required. The child-friendly environment — including a scanner with a built-in screen where pediatric patients can watch cartoons — has reduced the number of pediatric patients undergoing sedation by 21 percent.

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"Ultimately, we wanted to create a home-like environment for our pediatric patients, where they could feel much more comfortable and involved." — Amjad Rashid, manager of the department of nuclear medicine at Shaukat Khanum Hospital

"If you can get a child to go through a scan for 30 minutes without sedation, it's helpful to the child, more convenient for staff, and saves time and effort overall." — Humayun Bashir, MBBS, nuclear medicine physician and head of the department of nuclear medicine at Shaukat Khanum Hospital

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Engaging Experience

The Children's Hospital of Georgia collaborated with patients to redesign its pediatric imaging suite and improve patient experience. The pediatric imaging department worked with patient advisors to develop the redesign project, which uses technology throughout the suite to engage and calm patients. The new pediatric imaging suite has led to reduced radiation exposure for some patients and fewer repeat exams. As a result, patients have provided positive feedback about the department on the hospital's Press Ganey Satisfaction survey.

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"The redesigned imaging suite helps patients and families focus on something other than their disease state or condition — it's like a rainbow in the clouds." — Angalita Stephens, mother of pediatric patient Henry Stephens IV

"If radiologists are going to be stewards of the patient experience, it is essential to include patients and families as part of the design team. The only way to improve the patient experience is to ask the patient and listen." — James V. Rawson, MD, FACR, chair of the department of radiology and imaging at Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

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When the Radiologist Becomes the Patient

After her personal battle with cancer, one New York City radiologist established a patient-rounding program. Sabiha Raoof, MD, has built a dedicated team at Jamaica and Flushing Hospitals in Queens, NY, that is committed to being a visible part of patient care. After her own struggle with cancer, Raoof and her colleagues launched the Make a Difference Rounds (also called MAD Rounds) to visit patients and let them know someone is always available to address their immediate concerns. Teams of three hospital staff (anyone from a doctor to a housekeeping staff member to one of the financial officers) meet face to face with patients to better understand the world patients encounter.

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"I started talking to patients. I was having a five-minute interaction and helping them solve issues such as 'My breakfast was cold today,' or 'I need an extra pillow,' or 'I need the doctor to visit.' When you're a patient, every single thing, no matter how small, becomes significant." — Sabiha Raoof, MD, CMO and patient safety officer at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center

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Every year, an estimated 600,000 women in the U.S. undergo a hysterectomy. Most of these surgeries are performed on women under age 40, with as many as one-third done to treat benign uterine fibroids. In an independent clinical practice, an Atlanta interventional radiologist is using uterine fibroid embolization as an effective alternative treatment to surgery for benign uterine fibroids. A critical success factor is educating both patients and referring physicians about minimally invasive treatment options, as well as mentoring medical students.

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"Now more than ever, radiologists must get out of the war room and talk to patients. Even in a diagnostic setting, when you may not see a particular patient again, you still have that moment in time where you connect with the patient and care for them. That's an important relationship. It's why we went into medicine in the first place." — John C. Limpan, MD, founder and medical director at Atlanta Interventional Institute

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A Targeted Approach

Nine years after North Carolina resident Pat McFadden was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer that had metastasized to his liver, his oncologist referred him to Charlotte Radiology's interventional radiology clinic, which assess oncology patients for minimally invasive treatment options. At the clinic, interventional radiologists consult with patients and show them their images prior to and following interventional procedures. This clinical face time allows patients to make educated decisions about whether or not to proceed with their treatment.

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"When we review the imaging with patients and their family members, we find that they understand the treatment plan better and are more relaxed on the day of their procedure." — Eric A. Wang, MD, vice chief of the department of radiology at Carolinas Medical Center

"I didn't know anything about interventional oncology until I talked with Dr. Wang. But once I understood what he wanted to do, I had no hesitation about proceeding with the treatment." — Pat McFadden, an oncology patient in Charlotte Radiology's interventional radiology clinic

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Clinical Integration

The clinical practice of interventional radiology and interventional neuroradiology is integral to patient care at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Specialists are embedded in multidisciplinary patient clinics in the Cancer Institute and the Brain & Spine Institute. For patients, the clinics mean they can see all caregivers in one visit, which is especially important for those who are constrained by socioeconomic pressures and remote locations.

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"We often have a difficult time getting [rural] patients the care they need and getting them back and forth to appointments. With the clinic, it's a long day for the patient, but it's all done in one trip. It's one day off work, one tank of gas." — Laura K. Findeiss, MD, chair of the department of radiology at University of Tennessee Medical Center

"Clinical integration breaks down silos in health care. The multidisciplinary clinics allow patients to ask questions and providers to discuss issues and options collaboratively with patients and one another. That provides for a much better experience and connects pieces of the system that, before, might have been somewhat difficult for patients to navigate." — David Hall, senior vice president and chief operating officer at University of Tennessee Medical Center

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Direct to Patients

Massachusetts General Hospital's radiology consultation clinic allows patients to meet directly with radiologists to review images and ask questions. The clinic focuses on patients with emphysema, atherosclerosis, and hepatic steatosis — diseases that are increasingly common. The most significant benefit of the clinic is helping patients better understand their conditions. Radiologists are tracking whether the clinic increases patient compliance with exercise, diet, and medication.

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"The program aligns well with ACR's Imaging 3.0 initiative because we're engaging with patients about their health care and showing them the changes that are happening in their bodies. It helps patients better understand their conditions, and that adds a lot of value both for them and their primary care physicians." — Mark D. Mangano, MD, diagnostic radiology resident at Massachusetts General Hospital

Patient- and Family-Centered Care Resources

Explore the materials collected by the ACR's Commission on Patient- and Family Centered Care to enhance your understanding of — and participation in — new practice and payment models and help you provide more patient- and family-centered care. 

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Have an Imaging 3.0 case study idea to share with the radiology community? Submit your idea.

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