A Challenge For Our Times: Delivering Equitable Care For All

Imaging guides many, if not most, healthcare decisions, and radiologists are critical to the mission of eliminating disparities throughout the health system. This issue highlights some of the many ways that radiologists are advancing this goal.

Bubble design background with people walking around

Click to Download the Full Issue and Resources

As medical professionals, we have an ethical responsibility to understand our patients’ medical needs and the influences impacting their care. Providing equitable care does not simply mean delivering equal care across different patient populations. It means reducing and eliminating barriers so that everyone — regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status — has the opportunity to attain their full health potential. In short, providing equitable care means comprehensively addressing individual patient needs for more positive outcomes across all populations.

Inequities have existed within the healthcare system for decades. Barriers to access and care — from economic strife to systems-based discriminatory policies — have resulted in avoidable negative health outcomes, even death, among some patient populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the magnitude and consequences of these inequities even more. Now is the time for radiologists to seize the opportunity to make healthcare more equitable for all.

Imaging guides many, if not most, healthcare decisions, and radiologists are critical to the mission of eliminating disparities throughout the health system. This issue highlights some of the many ways that radiologists are advancing this goal. From developing language tools for patients who speak limited English, to advocating for lifesaving screening coverage for women, to conducting community outreach and encouraging smokers to receive early lung cancer screening, radiologists are addressing barriers that prohibit patients from accessing and fully participating in their care.

Achieving health equity will require dedication both inside and outside of our healthcare delivery systems. Faced with this challenge for our times, we must be focused and forward-thinking in this effort. In helping patients who face the greatest barriers, we will help all patients reach their full health potential.

Jacqueline A. Bello, MD, FACRJacqueline A. Bello, MD, FACR
Vice Chair, ACR Board of Chancellors


Case Studies in this Issue


Translated for Care

Radiologists create a translation tool that increases efficiency and improves the patient experience for greater health equity.
Read case study

Clinical Integration

At an academic medical center, interventional radiologists and neuroradiologists are embedded in patient clinics and collaborating at the point of care.
Read case study

Save a Life

At a South Carolina health system, the population health team and radiologists partner on a campaign that has increased breast cancer screenings by 39 percent.

Read case study

Advocating for Change

Forging and maintaining relationships with legislators and advocating for patients are tangible ways to provide quality care.
Read case study

Lung Screening in an Urban Setting

Radiologists in the Bronx lead a lung cancer screening program targeting an underserved, high-risk urban population.
Read case study

Early Detection Matters

Radiologists in Michigan collaborate with administrators and care partners to develop a successful lung cancer screening clinic and enhance population health.
Read case study

Q&A: Quality Care for All

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s department of radiology health equity program addresses barriers to care.
Read case study