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What Does “Patient-Centered Care” Mean for Radiology?

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"Patient and Family-Centered Care" is one of Radiology's buzzterms for 2016. It's a philosophy that is mentioned frequently during radiology conferences and performance reviews, but what does it really mean in a modern clinical context? The December edition of the Journal of the American College of Radiology offers some great tips.


What Does PFCC Mean?


Patient and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) is about engaging and involving patients and their families at every possible point of care, without sacrificing efficiency or positive patient outcome. It's about listening to and incorporating the thoughts of patients and their families, rather than asking them to be quiet and passive while the physician makes all the important decisions about care.


PFCC is an ever-changing approach to our jobs as radiologists and radiographic technicians. It changes because care changes, and because patients and their families are becoming more educated and sophisticated all the time. PFCC has ramifications for the work day, for examinations and for preparations made when our practices are not in operation. The Journal has specific suggestions which we will summarize below.


How to Do PFCC in 2017


Dr. James Rawson of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University recommends the following actions for anyone hoping to improve the PFCC in their practice.


  1. Listen to Patient Advisors. Patient advisors can be carefully chosen to clearly communicate to caregivers the needs, experiences and expectations of large groups of patients. At the Medical College of Augusta, this meant asking community representatives to weigh in on the images that would cover the walls of patient waiting areas, to promote a sense of calm and local identity. There are many other ways patient advisors can be used as a valuable resource.

  2. Encourage Patient Feedback. It's important to invite feedback, and even criticism, from patients in a routine and formalized way.

  3. Engage Patients in Practical Ways Every Day. Nothing is more uplifting to a patient than being offered unrequested aid by someone in your practice. Why not answer questions from someone who is not your patient, or help a family find the hospital wing they're looking for if you notice them appearing lost?

  4. Take the Lead. If PFCC isn't part of the conversation at your practice, be the one to push forward into new standards of patient-focused care!

  5. Listen to Employees. Don't just listen to patients, ask your employees what they think, too. Employees offer a perspective unlike anyone else in the practice, often with the most manhours spent "on the ground". Their ideas and feedback are indispensable for improving the patient experience.


Techno-Aide designs all of the products in our catalog with the intention of improving the patient experience. We look for every opportunity to improve patient care and health. While we don't deal directly with patients, we hope that your practice will be able to incorporate these standards in 2017. As we work to create a better industry for caregivers and their patients, we thank our clients and customers for always doing their part!


 

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