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Patient first: Optimize care delivery by offering longitudinal IR services

March 31, 2017

    Consider this scenario: You're due for an elective surgery. Before your scheduled procedure, you meet with your surgeon, receive education, and ask detailed questions. As a result, you arrive the day of your procedure prepared and knowledgeable about what to expect.

    Now, consider an increasingly common alternative: Rather than going through with a surgery, you opt for an interventional radiology (IR) procedure after hearing about its minimally invasive nature, low complication rates, and fast recovery times. This time, however, you aren't slotted to meet with your physician before your procedure, and your referring provider is not able to answer your most pressing questions.

    Where do you turn?

    This phenomenon has prompted interventional radiologists to ask one key question: If every elective surgery affords patients the opportunity to consult with their physician before their procedure and receive necessary surgeon-driven follow up care after, why are patients who elect to have IR alternatives not afforded the same?

    All across the country, interventional radiologists are beginning to look for ways to get involved in the pre- and post-procedure care that surrounds many IR procedures—and for good reason. Longitudinal IR care optimizes the quality of care IR physicians are able to deliver to patients, empowers interventional radiologists to own clinical decisions, and allows programs to match the standard of care provided by other procedure-based specialties—thus meeting referring physicians' expectations while simultaneously drawing greater market share.


    Pre-procedure consults

    Consulting with patients before a scheduled procedure is an integral aspect of offering comprehensive IR care. Consults help prepare physicians for their procedure by allowing them to evaluate their patient's history, images, and labs ahead of time. As a result, IR physicians are able to assess a greater range of treatment options and place an order for the correct procedure—eliminating the guesswork and rescheduling often involved in referring provider orders.


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