I was in a hospital waiting room recently and overheard a conversation between several doctors. It was one of those “back in the good old days” conversations, though the doctors certainly didn’t look like old-timers. Interestingly, they were expressing a sentiment that I have heard from many doctors who used to work in the “old regime” of the non digital world. “It’s not the same anymore. We used to go down to Radiology and discuss the films with the radiologist who read them. Now we just read a report. There is no interaction.” My question is: Why in the world isn’t there?
I see referring physicians who don’t care, indifferently receiving reports and only telling the patients about their results if the patients call themselves. I also see doctors who care about the welfare of their patients and (surprise!!!) call the radiologist to discuss the results. Who in the world said that the report was the end of communication? Is it really harder to pick up the phone than to walk down to the radiology department? I think it’s time to embrace the change.
Patient Relations Coordinator