The care continuum is well upon us and has become a rapidly evolving concept as the medical profession tries to move forward while keeping abreast of developments in and around the health sector
Radiology’s role in the care continuum is a matter I have witnessed and personally dealt with during my experiences at Hospital Clinic Barcelona when piloting the ESR iGuide imaging referral guidelines. In an academic institution such as ours, it gave us the opportunity to deal directly with general practitioners (GPs).
Previously, the GP used to refer a patient to the specialist; the specialist sent the request to radiology, then radiology sent the patient back to the specialist. now, the GP is using clinical decision support, for example in the case of a patient with a knee problem, and if the examination is justified, the request goes directly to radiology. in all patient cases when the finding is normal, the GP can manage the situation without sending the patient to the specialist. thus, with the use of these tools and the direct involvement of the radiology department with the GPs, we can make the system more efficient from the process point of view, while becoming less burdensome on the patients themselves, thus completing the care continuum cycle.
This brings me to the second concept within this edition: Management Matters.
As the care continuum will continue to involve more and more people, healthcare stakeholders, patient support and —most importantly in demanding financial environments —cost efficiencies, it is vital that medical professionals keep a balance between best practices and modern management tools, whether in a small department or a major organisation.
Management Matters will focus on the latest, the most innovative and insightful perspectives and tips from healthcare and business leaders to inspire you in your practice.
Good leadership is based on good knowledge – the more we know, the better we can be prepared to tackle our everyday issues.