RSNA President George Bissett today urged radiologists to step out from behind the curtain and be more visible. Addressing the RSNA Annual Meeting in Chicago, U.S., he set the scene for the 2012 theme of Patients First.
Bissett said radiologists should own their patients' problems, their fears and frustrations and meet patients' need for clear information. "Walk a mile in their shoes", he said.
In today's healthcare environment it is vital for radiologists to put patients first and understand their needs. Patients want more engagement, transparency and value.
Radiologists have not anticipated and responded to patient-centred trends in healthcare. If radiologists are invisible to patients, then they are vulnerable. Radiologists are victims of their own success in technical advances and efficiency. It is easy to forget that a patient is attached to the body parts radiologists are studying.
Bissett urged radiologists to ensure they show patients compassion and respect. Radiologists should spend time in their own waiting rooms and talk to patients. "Think what you would want for your relative," he said.
Bissett quoted four key principles of patient-centered care:
1. Dignity and respect
2. Information sharing
In an era when most radiologists never meet their patients, he advised some simple steps. Radiologists should add features to reports to make them mored understandable to patients. They should ensure maximum transparency and promote direct communications of results to patients when appropriate.