Radiology + Patient & Family-Centered Care

The R Family - RebeccaVC1Blog post by James V. Rawson, MD, FACR. Intro by Colin Hung.

I am in constant awe of the fantastic people I have met through social media. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the friends and colleagues that I have gotten to know simply because I choose to send out missives in 140-character chunks.

Dr James Rawson is one of the people I have gotten to know through social media. He is a physician who is equally passionate about his profession – Radiology – as he is about patients. Dr. Rawson was involved in the USA Change Day initiative and was a guest on #hcldr earlier this year along with Chris McCarthy and Richard Corder.

A few months ago, Dr Rawson asked if we would be open to helping him crowdsource ideas and thoughts for the new Patient and Family-Centered Care Commission that he was leading. Of course we agreed. Dr Rawson is not only an active member of the #HCLDR community, his work on this Commission represents exactly the kind of change/action that #HCLDR hopes to spur in healthcare.

Dr. Rawson has a truly interesting challenge. Radiologists are not physicians we see on a regular basis. In fact as patients, there is very little interaction with Radiologists. So why would Radiologists need to worry about the patient experience? Let alone be concerned about becoming patient/family-centered?

I think it is very progressive of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and of Dr. Rawson to be proactively thinking about how their profession can become more patient- and family-centered. As we move towards a world of wellness, specialists like Radiologists need to reimagine their role in the healthcare ecosystem or they risk becoming irrelevant. Radiologists are an important member of a patient’s care team and have valuable insights to share. Becoming more patient- and family-centered will help them become even more involved in patient wellness.

From Dr. James Rawson.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) is forming a Patient and Family-Centered Care commission.  The creation of a commission provides an opportunity to ask questions, listen and reflect. As individual physicians and medical professional societies try to partner with patients in changing healthcare, great opportunities and great challenges co-exist.

One challenge will be to create an infrastructure that ensures all stakeholders have a seat at the table including the patients and families. However, a seat at the table isn’t enough. The environment needs to be safe for everyone to express themselves and allow all voices to be heard with equal respect. What would be the ground rules for those discussions?  What makes a safe environment? How do you share a painful experience? How can controversial topics be discussed in a meaningful way?

The #HCLDR November 10, 2015 Tweetchat will be a crowd sourced discussion of how to build a team of patients and families with the other stakeholders in healthcare. It is an opportunity to leverage the experience of the #HCLDR community. In the future, other professional societies will attempt to engage patients to share their concerns and work together to improve healthcare. If done right, this could be the foundation that others will build on.

Join us Tuesday November 10th 2015 at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) when we will discuss the following topics together:

  • T1 How would you like to see a professional organization, like ACR, engage patients & families to improve the patient experience?
  • T2 Radiologists are physicians who read x-rays, CAT scans, MRI etc. What can Radiologists do to improve patient experience given that there aren’t regular visits?
  • T3 As patients, how would you like to see specialists like Radiologists, work better/closer with primary care physicians or other members of your care team?
  • T4 How could/should physician and hospital payment be linked to patient satisfaction and patient experience?

james-rawsonAbout Dr. Rawson

Dr. Rawson is the P.L., J. Luther, Ada Warren Chair and has served as the Chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University for over a decade.  Dr. Rawson served as President of the Adult Medical Staff at Georgia Regents Medical Center for three years.  He chairs the ACR Commission on Patient and Family-Centered Care.  His primary research interest is health policy, process improvement and patient experience.

Suggested Reading

“In the Patient’s Shoes. Radiologists Question and Evolve the Patient Experience With Input Straight From the Source”, Alyssa Martino, American College of Radiology, September 12 2012,, accessed November 3 2015

“ACR Patient- and Family-Centered Care Commission Advances Imaging 3.0 Model”, American College of Radiology, October 19 2015,, accessed November 3 2015

Image Credit

The R Family-2 – RebeccaVC1 –


  1. James Tallman · · Reply

    Dr. Rawson is an exceptional physician and radiologist.

    James Tallman, M.D.

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