Patient Centered Radiology

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By Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE

May 2013—My IDN just completed a two and a half year long, enterprise wide, EHR implementation. My two hospitals and imaging centers were second to last to “go live” on April 6. While we continue to care for our patients in the same manner as we did before, we are now sharing information in a way we couldn’t have imagined previously. All information is transparent and in real-time, from providers’ orders, to reports, to patients. Under providers’ and HIM consent, our patients are able to view their complete charts. And, yes, you guessed it – there is a multi-media app for viewing their charts.

EHR and a robust IT infrastructure including VNA are at the epicenter of patient centered radiology, where the patient is commander in chief and the radiologist is the command center coordinator. We are beginning to see a more prominent trend of the evolving role of radiologists in our environment and industry, which requires the radiologist to step out of the comforting walls of interpreting rooms and respond directly to patients. Imagine a patient reading his/her KUB x-ray report: “unable to determine suspect finding in radiograph and recommend X modality to further evaluate.” The patient potentially would read that report before their PCP, and a conversation with the interpreting radiologist may be in order prior to submitting to another test. Are we ready to walk the walk of patient centered radiology? We’re making strides.

AHRA understands the role of radiologists in medical imaging and the added pressures in the horizon brought by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Meaningful Use. We have worked for nearly a year to put together AHRA’s first Physician Leadership Track that will premiere at the Annual Meeting and Exposition on July 28 in Minneapolis. We have assembled the best of the class and carefully selected topics chosen by physicians. I implore you to take the time to share the brochure with your radiologists and personally invite them to attend. This will be a mutually rewarding experience for both of you, and will help to solidify your working relationship.

I want to thank two AHRA teams/committees that have been busy working on behalf of the membership. The Spring Conference Design Team put on an outstanding meeting in LA last month, where networking and the quality and relevancy of the presentations were the talk of attendees. Thank you to Art Tasaka, Terry Lynn Bucknall, Sandy Edson, and Mark Steffen! The Nominations Committee has also completed the arduous task of selecting the candidates to go on the AHRA election ballot. Please look for the email when the ballot opens on May 8 and let your voice be heard on the future of AHRA by exercising your duty to vote. In this issue of Link, you can get to know some of the candidates so that you’re ready to vote next week.

Please make plans to attend the 41st AHRA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis this July. We have seen record early bird registrations and have nearly sold out the exhibit hall. The central location, coupled with the first ever Physician Track, and the phenomenal lineup of keynote speakers will attract record attendance.

Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE is president of the 2012-2013 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the division director of radiology services at Franciscan-St. Elizabeth Health in Lafayette, IN and can be reached at

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