Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Patient-centered Care: A Nurse’s Perspective

Published on the Nov. 29, 2012, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

CHICAGO — You might consider yourself and your practice to be fairly patient-centered. Chances are, though, you’re not. Or, at least according to one nurse who’s worked with breast cancer patients for 15 years, you could be doing more.

“You need to see the world through the eyes of the patient,” Lillie Shockney, RN, nurse director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center Cancer Survivorship Programs, told a group at this year’s RSNA annual meeting. “You need to understand how patients will see, hear, and feel the results – no matter what the news is.”

Always remember these women are scared, and they’re searching for clues about their condition in anything you do. If they can’t see the monitor you’re using to read their scans, does that mean you’re hiding bad news? If you’re out of the room too long, are you discussing something horrific about her case with your colleagues?

You can help allay these fears or help prepare a patient for bad news, Shockney said. Drop hints about what you see during the procedure. While you might not want to explain everything you’re seeing to the patient at that time, giving clues about anything good can help soothe her. Be careful that you don’t provide any false hope, however.

“I’ve been in the presence of some radiologists who’ve said, ‘You’re going to be fine,’” she said. “They were patronizing the patient, patting her on the shoulder, and I knew from looking at the screen that the next day, she was going to get bad news. Patients really do need to be prepared for that.”

To read the remainder of the story at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/conference-reports/rsna2012/content/article/113619/2116952


December 5, 2012 Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radiology: Make It About the Patient

Published on the Nov. 29, 2012, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

CHICAGO — In this health care environment, you’re being asked to do a lot: Control your costs. Reduce your dose. Collaborate with referring physicians and other providers. But the most important thing you can do, according to industry experts, is focus on the patient.

Shifting your emphasis from maximizing your productivity to optimizing your patient’s experience will likely mean changing your practice model or shuffling your priorities, but it’s the right thing to do, said Brent Wagner, MD, a radiologist with West Reading Radiology Associates near Philadelphia, at this year’s RSNA annual meeting.

“As radiologists we might see two or three patients a day,” he said. “Each of those interactions should be perfect. It’s our job to make them perfect.”

To get as close to that perfect as possible, Wagner offered a five-step road map.

First, he said, you must accept that finding a balance between fulfilling your patients’ expectations and maintaining an efficient practice is imperative. Either extreme — focusing solely on the patient or completely on your practice — is an unsustainable model and will drive you out of business.

One feasible option for moving your practice toward patient-centeredness is to utilize the manpower that could already be at your disposal. Rather than taking on added on-call duties, shift this responsibility to your residents. This way, patients have easy access to a radiologist who can answer their questions, and residents gain hands-on experience with provided patient-centered care.

In addition, don’t ignore the low-hanging fruit. Look around for opportunities that can push you toward focusing more on your patient. For example, Wagner said, if your practice is associated with a hospital emergency department, take steps to streamline your read process so you’re getting the report to the emergency physician before the patient returns to his or her room.

You also have ready-made opportunities with patients, said Volney Van Dalsem, MD, a radiologist with the Stanford Medicine Imaging Center in Palo Alto, Calif. Take the time for face-to-face contact, no matter how brief it is.

“We make a point to try and meet every patient. To say hello and thank them for coming to our facility,” he said. “We introduce ourselves and give them information about when their report will be available.”

To read the remainder of the article at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/conference-reports/rsna2012/content/article/113619/2117006

December 5, 2012 Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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