Good Patient Communication Matters, So Why is it So Hard?
Improving physician communication skills is an increasingly hot topic, as the Wall Street Journal recently noted, because of a confluence of factors, including the rise of the empowered patient, malpractice suit trends, and changes in reimbursement that tie payment to metrics like patient satisfaction. However, as diagnostic imaging specialists well know, good communication takes time and effort that is largely unrewarded.
On top of this, even the most well-written and thoughtful radiology reports can be misread (or not read at all) by the ordering physicians. Never mind what may happen when patients are able to read their
The EHR Interoperability Disincentive
“If you bring her to our urgent care, we’ll be able to see what was done in her record,” the pediatric R.N. told me with a winning smile when I’d asked what to do if my 3-year-old’s urinary tract infection wasn’t better by the following day, a weekend.
It was a subtle and winning bit of patient steerage that I’d run into many times before, both personally and when dealing with health issues for my children. There is an urgent care office just blocks from our home, but when ill, my
Listen to Patients, not PCPs, on Radiology Report Access
Technological change is driving historic changes in how health care is delivered and paid for, and quite often radiologists, because they are on the leading edge of many of these technological advancements, are caught in the middle. One important example is in the area of giving patients direct access to their imaging test results.
Advocating for more access are certain patient groups, health IT leaders and the government. Just this month, Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for health information technology at the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), and his colleagues wrote in Health Affairs about the
Cut to Imaging Made Little Difference in Final Fiscal Cliff Cost
The fiscal cliff legislation the president signed into law last week contains about $800 million in cuts to advanced medical imaging over 10 years. It’s a figure that boggles the mind, but in the context of the full cost of the legislation, it is miniscule.
The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the legislation, says the whole fiscal cliff package will increase the nation’s deficit by $4.6 trillion.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around a number this large, so I decided turn it into a measurement I am more familiar with at this
Avoid Becoming a Commodity the Lego Way
As a parent of small children, I have a keen interest in the small, expensive, painful-to-step-on plastic building blocks called Legos. In 2011, Legos brought in $3.5 billion in revenue. It’s nearest competitor, Mega Bloks, earned a comparatively measly $400 million, reported NPR’s Planet Money recently.
Legos should by all rights be a commodity. The patent on the blocks expired long ago and courts all over the world have thrown out suits to prevent other companies from making blocks that connect with Lego blocks.
Conventional wisdom would say that the moment Legos’ patents expired, competitors inexpensive
Sectra Brings Tested Radiation Dose Monitoring System to Rest of World at RSNA
Medical imaging IT company Sectra began working on the radiation dose monitoring problem with 10 hospitals in southern Sweden back in 2008 and now the company is bringing the solution they developed to the rest of the world.
At RSNA 2012, Sectra has launched Sectra DoseTrack — the same system used in the Skane region of Sweden “as a regional quality system for radiation doses to collate, store and analyze radiation-dose data from radiology examinations performed at some 100 radiology modalities,” according to the press release.
An advantage with Sectra DoseTrack is that it is “a well-tested solution” that
RSNA? There’s an App For That!
iPhone and iPad users packing for RSNA may want to check out the free apps offered this year in the iTunes store that are designed to make the meeting a bit easier to navigate.
RSNA Mobile Connect is the official RSNA created app and includes the RSNA twitter feed for live updates before and during the conference, as well as tools like:a QR code scannera mobile searchable version of the meeting program and exhibitor listinggeneral information organized in an FAQ format
In addition, there is the somewhat easier to navigate RSNA2012 app by developer
Go to the Gemba on Meaningful Use
A key feature of Lean management systems is going to the site of the “original work” to study how things are done and how changes affect operations. In Lean lingo, it is called going to the Gemba — an anglicized version of the Japanese word meaning “the real place.”
While I was writing about the Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU) regulations for electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments, one of my neighbors stopped by. As she is a nurse at a large famous academic health system, I quickly turned the conversation from kids and gardening to what was
Making Patients Happy With Less For Less
Payors and the government seem to want the impossible. They want lower reimbursement rates with higher patient satisfaction scores at the same time. How is anyone supposed to make patients happier with less?
Part of the answer may be found by taking a look at what radiology practices and hospital departments that specialize in pediatric patients do to ease fears and get their young subjects through procedures.
In a May Ted Talk by GE designer Doug Dietz, he describes how his pride in a newly installed MRI turned to crushing disappointment when he saw the
What if Empowering Patients Increases Imaging Use?
Health policy experts understand that reducing waste and overutilization of health care is critical in making our health care system sustainable. They also understand that to do this ethically, patients must be part of the process.
Informed patients who can work together with their doctors to make smart decisions about their care and avoid costly tests and procedures that will not help them get better is the goal behind efforts like Choosing Wisely. However, as patients are empowered with more information about their health and the medical options open to them, assuming that they will always opt