RSNA 2013: President’s Address Encourages Radiologists to Embrace Multidiscinplinary Teams
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This year’s theme for RSNA is “The Power of Partnerships” and it has been easy to see this in action simply by walking the halls of the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago. Based on the visitors we have seen in our booth early in the meeting, we have noticed that those who work in medical imaging have been focused on unifying their departments with the rest of their organizations. As health systems partner together, so must the numerous departments that that encompass these growing organizations. Radiology, is emerging from the dark and breaking away from its silo.
This was a focal point of the speech given by RSNA President Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D., when she officially opened the meeting with the President’s Address. Her theme was that the best patient care is a result of partnerships–those between organizations, and those among departments within individual facilities. She brought up multidisciplinary teams as being a catalyst forensuring that those partnerships lead to success–both for the health system and, more importantly, the patient.
Dr. Donaldson encouraged radiologists to get more involved by claiming their place and participating in the conferences and seminars that perhaps are not directly related to their practice. Radiologists have been improving in this area, but there is still much room to grow. She stated that if radiologists want to succeed in today’s healthcare environment, it is going to take teamwork and making sure radiology is more involved. By focusing on teamwork, radiologists are able to secure their inclusion in the collaboration process and prevent further isolation.
All of this boils done to patient care. In her talk, Dr. Donaldson provided support for the idea that it is not radiologists, but the patients that matter the most. Focusing on the patient, their care and building the relationship through communication and consultation can allow radiologists to be seen as a vital healthcare partners with their patients. Once this becomes a regular occurrence, then radiologists will be best positioned to prove themselves as being members of the multidisciplinary teams and avoiding exclusion.
In her most eye-opening quote, Dr. Donalson stated, “When diagnostic radiologists are truly represented as a part of the patient care team, patients will start to appreciate the value of their radiologists.” Through these words, Dr. Donaldson is encouraging the radiological community to embrace change, and do away with old way the industry has conducted itself. If radiologists continue down the path of being the isolationist of the medical community, then they will be left in the dust as other departments move forward through evolution and realizing that partnerships and collaboration are vital to ensure that patients are receiving the best care possible. That is, and always has been, the ultimate goal.