Regardless of your beliefs, your use of technology, or your grammar skills, there are still three ways you can improve your practice: better patient care, more compliant patients, and an elevated professional reputation in your community. In the part 2 of this series, we are going to look at how patient education can equal better patient compliance. And if you have not had a chance to read part 1 where I discuss how to achieve better patient outcomes and compliance, make sure you read it here. With a nominal educational refresher of the one tool that can help you accomplish all three of these goals, you can go from Dr. Ordinary to Dr. Kick Ass.
While you might already be doing well in your practice, the road to true glory comes by producing a reliable, informative, and compelling radiology report. The rad skills you need to create a radiology report that delivers more than just the obvious diagnostic imaging findings are literally at your fingertips. Mastering these skills results in better patient care/outcomes; educated patients becoming compliant with care recommendations; and a reputation that results in more referrals. For the purposes of this blog series, I am referring to digital plain film radiographs and not advanced imaging like an MRI/CT scan.
Seeing any abnormal curvature of the spine or biomechanical consideration gives clinicians a more accurate care plan. While posture can be assessed visually, spinal correlation can be more insightful.As spinal health care experts marking up an image, one surely can value the educational benefit of a patient receiving their plain film image with annotations showing abnormalities and findings right onto their smart phone. Patient trust, confidence, and follow through with care recommendations are more likely when cases having definitive findings that impact the outcome of the care are evident. Modern imaging helps clinicians make more accurate diagnosis and plan more effective treatment strategies for spinal disorders.
Patients granting permission to their doctor with subsequent documentation acknowledgement to send those images via text or email can still comply with HIPAA. The patient gets the image of their spine and recalls your explanation more easily so they can repeat the findings to their spouse or friends to support their decision to get better. This situational awareness allows for patient encouragement and the side effect can be more referrals from the patients’ family and friends.
Now that you understand how valuable patient education is, make sure to check back for Part 3 in this series of improving your practice where we will discuss how to achieve a stellar community reputation. Stay tuned!
4- Eur Spine J. 2009;18(5):593-607. Vrtovec T, Pernus F, Likar B.
3 Ways to Improve Your Practice