Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, contributed this post.

As physicians, our goal is to provide the best care for our patients. How can we deliver?

As I mentioned during the #WeAreRadiology session last week at RSNA 2019, it’s only when our patients bring their experiences and ideas into the room that we can work together to help design health care systems that work for them. If our work revolves around the care of patients, why aren’t we putting their needs and ideas at the center of our work?

Recently, during a conversation with Neil M. Rofsky, MD, MHA, FACR, he shared with me the stories of two physician colleagues at UT Southwestern Medical Center who have embodied this principle: Rising Star Award honoree David Fetzer, MD, and Patient and Family Recognition Award honoree Daniel Costa, MD.

Dr. Fetzer’s work includes developing new service lines to help transform the perception of ultrasound imaging and intervention. He has championed the use of contrast-enhanced ultrasound to more accurately diagnose patients, allowing physicians to more effectively tailor their treatment decisions for patients.

Dr. Costa excels at the intersection of diagnostic skills and direct patient care. He has also proven himself to be a consummate team player with colleagues, referring providers, patients and their families. His colleagues say he is known for treating every patient like family, ensuring that they – and their caregivers – feel valued and comfortable, and that their questions, concerns and feelings are heard. Dr. Costa played a critical role in establishing one of the top prostate cancer programs in the country.

Though each of us may play different roles in our departments and organizations, one thing is clear— building a constructive relationship between providers and patients creates the foundation for high-value care. Like Drs. Fetzer and Costa, we ought to set the standard of care for not only radiology, but also for our institutions – and medicine – as a whole. The need to provide care in collaboration with our patients so that we can meet their goals underpins the work of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®)’s Commission on Patient- and Family- Centered Care (PFCC).

How do you provide PFCC in your practice? Is it time to make a change? The ACR provides several resources for physicians who want to implement PFCC and take your patient-centered care to the next level.

  • How are you and your colleagues working to improve PFCC in your practice? What tools or techniques have worked best for you?

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