More Face-Time with Radiologists

mri-782457_1280-300x300When patients have more one-to-one face time with radiologists, it could possibly help them better understand their own results, and have a more proactive and informed role in their own care. Those are the results of a new study from the University Of Michigan Medical School.

The study focused on 1,976 patients of radiology, who were given a questionnaire about their understanding of radiology results. The researchers found that patients very often hoped for more face time with radiologists to help them better understand the results. As many as 84% of the patients in the study expressed interest in meeting with their radiologists in order to discuss the findings of their exams. About 20% were actually willing to pay at least $40 or more to see a radiologist. They were also three times more comfortable when an image was analyzed by a radiologist, than a non-radiologist.

The study also reveals that many patients continue to be uninformed about the various processes in radiology. Up to 10% of the parents incorrectly believed that radiation is used in ultrasound, while 45% believed that magnetic resonance uses radiation. However, the researchers also found that the patient’s knowledge about the processes and systems involved improved markedly when they received educational literature. 

The researchers say that often information gets mistranslated or misinterpreted as it moves through a chain, and this is not in patient’s best interests. Critical information sometimes is lost, and that can actually be dangerous. There are many steps between a radiologist and the patient, and the risk is always high that information will be lost, as it travels through those steps.

That leaves patients without an understanding of what is happening and increases the costs of patient care. An educated and informed patient is always the safest kind of patient. In fact, recent healthcare efforts have been in the direction of advancing patient education so that patients can take a stronger role in their own care. Patient advocates have always advocated for patients to take a more proactive role in their care. Several important steps in self management include telling doctors and staff at the hospital about your medical history, updating the staff on your current medication regimen, and taking along a dependable advocate who can talk on your behalf if you are weak or incapacitated and not able to do so – these are all essential steps that you can take in order to safeguard your own well-being when you’re in the hospital.

However, giving patients more access to radiologists has been a difficult path to follow for many hospitals and healthcare facilities. They find that the physicians caring for the patient are sometimes offended when the radiologist directly delivers the results of the tests to the patient.

The Indiana medical malpractice attorneys at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson & Kennedy, LLP are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence across Indiana.