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“Involve Patients to Improve the Quality of Care” – European Congress of Radiology


Patients and professionals met in a dedicated session of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) held in Vienna on the 5th of March to discuss best ways of implementing a patient-centred approach in clinical radiology.

The session entitled ‘Patient-centred care in clinical radiology: do we really put our patients first?’ aimed to explore concrete examples of best practice in implementing patient-centred care in the radiology department. The audience provided perspectives from the patients and the radiologists point of view, drawing proposals to expand and reproduce these best practices. The session was organised by the European Society of Radiology Patient Advisory Group (ESR-PAG). This subgroup of the ESR brings together patients, the public and imaging professionals discuss innovations in the field of medical imaging and to foster a patient-centred approach in the work of ESR.

Nicola Bedlington, EPF Secretary General and chair of the ESR-PAG pointed out that “this session perfectly reflects the growing importance of patient empowerment not only from the patients’ point of view but also from the professionals’ side”.

The audience had the opportunity to get introduced to the ‘ESR driver diagram on patient-centred care in clinical radiology’, a tool developed by the ESR-PAG and launched at a previous congress. The objective is to provide best practices examples to deliver effective, inclusive and personalised care & communication with and about the patient.

Underscoring the necessity to understand quality from a patient’s perspective and the need to embed this perspective to ensure effective patient-centred care, speakers stressed that improving quality is deeply connected to several key indicators such as effectiveness, safety, access, patient-centred, equitable and efficiency of healthcare practice. Very much in line with EPF’s mission!

The assessment of patient-satisfaction to improve the delivery of quality and patient-centred care was also on the agenda. A questionnaire evaluating the patients’ perception of an hospital radiology department’s performance was presented to the audience. The survey collected responses from patients regarding waiting times, information, admittance, examination types and examination performance.

According to Dr. Carrié, who was responsible for the evaluation, the response rate is rather low. The efforts however proved to be beneficial as it provides the possibility for patients to express themselves and encourages radiologists and their team to continuously improve their quality of care.

"The concerns of the professionals working in a radiological department differ substantially from the concerns of the patients. It is therefore inevitable to consider the patients’ point of view when auditing the performance of your department.” said Dr. Carrié.

The take-away message of the meeting was that the continued exchange of views and communication play a central role in improving the quality of care to the benefit of the patients.

Contact person: Nicola Bedlington, Secretary General