September 27, 2010

Radiologists Need to See Patients

The followings are summarized from the article "The Constantly Changing Field of Radiology: Maintaining Professionalism in an Era of Electronic Communication" by Alexander R. Margulis, MD.

PACS: Disruptive Innovation
  • Good: streamlining imaging process, allowing almost instant availability of images and of reports, eliminating film loss, speeding up patient care
  • Bad: reducing personal contact between radiologists and referring physicians, and radiologists and patients, making possible image interpretation from remote sites without any personal contact with treating physicians and little or no clinical information
The Problem
  • "These developments threaten to change radiology into a commodity and radiologists, in patients' eyes, into nonparticipants in their care."
  • Radiologists are not known by (or exist to) patients
  • The notion endangers the role of radiologist as a physician, and the existence of radiology specialty
  • See patients. "Radiologists need to see patients before imaging examinations to make it clear that they are supervising and will later interpret the examinations."
  • "If possible and appropriate, they should even give patients preliminary readings."
  • This can start in teaching centers, where faculty, fellows and/or residents take turns as "officer of the day" greet patients, determine examination protocols, and participate when the cases are reviewed
At the end of the article, Dr. Margulis predicts that "the radiologists of tomorrow will return to playing their full role as physicians. They will not only sit in front of PACS monitors interpreting images, but will see patients and remain continuously in touch with their clinical colleagues."

Margulis AR. The constantly changing field of radiology: maintaining professionalism in an era of electronic communication. Radiology 2010; 257:22-23.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please read 'Systematic Execution of Radiology by Dr A Doss, in Journal of Medical Imaging and radiation Oncology

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