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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015 Jul;205(1):95-9. doi: 10.2214/AJR.14.14165.

Creating a Patient-Centered Radiology Practice Through the Establishment of a Diagnostic Radiology Consultation Clinic.

Author information

1
1 Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 55 Fruit St, FND216, Boston, MA 02114.
2
2 Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
3
3 Vascular and Interventional Radiology Center, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.
4
4 Department of Radiology, Division of Abdominal Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
5
5 Department of Radiology, Division of Emergency Radiology and Teleradiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purposes of this study were to assess the feasibility of and to create a referral mechanism for a diagnostic radiology consultation clinic.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

A pilot program was instituted with patients from a single primary care clinic over a 3-week period. Patients with findings of common problems at routine imaging, such as atherosclerosis, emphysema, and hepatic steatosis, were eligible to participate. As the patients arrived for their routine primary care visits, office staff informed them of the opportunity to formally meet with a radiologist to review their most recent imaging findings. The office staff of the primary care clinic then contacted the radiologist covering the diagnostic radiology consultation clinic to schedule a consultation. A survey was administered before and after the session.

RESULTS:

Twenty-two patients participated (88% participation rate). Participants rated the consultation as very helpful (mean, 4.8 on 1-5 scale), and all participants would take the opportunity to review studies with the radiologist again. Significantly more patients preferred the involvement of the radiologist in communicating the results of an imaging examination after the consultation compared with before the consultation (p = 0.001). After the consultation session, patients had significantly improved understanding of a radiologist's role (p = 0.004), and all participants were able to correctly identify the radiologist as a physician who interprets medical images.

CONCLUSION:

A referral mechanism for a diagnostic radiology consultation clinic can be effectively integrated into the everyday workflow of both the referring physician and the radiologist. The consultations are useful to patients and help to increase their awareness of the role of the radiologist.

KEYWORDS:

patient-centered radiology; quality improvement; radiology clinic; value

PMID:
26102386
DOI:
10.2214/AJR.14.14165
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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