3 Ways to Improve Your Practice, Part 3

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 3 of this series, we are going to look at how you can achieve a stellar reputation in your community. 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.

Doctor reputation amongst patients and their support group elevates with effectively communicated radiography findings. Consider the diagnostic information being described in the radiology report. Having the images inside the report with annotations or a call-out to clinically relevant findings on the x-ray images makes the technical impressions better understood. Certain areas of the spine that have a measurement or biomechanical analysis annotated so the reviewer, claim adjuster, attorney, and the patient’s support group can all understand the radiology report makes for a better patent experience. It can also help persuade those looking to deny care to now consider one more factor, a strong evidence-based factor, that results in a position change because of the evidence presented on radiographs.

The key is to better communicate the findings inside the radiology report. A chart showing normal measurements compared to the patient’s measurements may be applicable. Or comparing the right side to the left side can show abnormalities or spinal deviations. Referencing certain studies that provide published literature references within the report on a certain finding indicating a risk factor, may be applicable. For example, the lumbar lordosis measurement on the lateral lumbar view has been shown to result in DJD of the lower lumbar facet joints and resultant chronic low back pain if hyper-lordosis or hypo-lordosis is present.[1]If the lordosis curve is measured and the study is referenced; the need to change the curve through chiropractic adjustments and exercise provide evidence to form the care plan. Visualizing a lumbar lordosis is simply not accurate unless radiographs are taken. Presenting this information clearly within the report can both educate the patient, result in referrals, and elevate your reputation as a detailed biomechanical evidence-based doctor, aka Dr. Kick Ass. Go forth and Kick Ass!

3 Ways to Improve Your Practice


5- Eur Spine J. 2009;18(5):593-607. Vrtovec T, Pernus F, Likar B.

2891-017-1696-9.Characterization of the correlation between standing lordosis and degenerative joint disease in the lower lumbar spine in women and men: a radiographic study.


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