There’s a fair amount of focus on reducing disparities in healthcare—increased emphasis on cultural responsivity and patient centeredness—these issues continue to prevail.
Diverse, vulnerable and marginalized patients face several obstacles when seeking medical care, such as difficulties with communication and limited understanding of the health care system.
Therefore, it’s essential that the radiology care team embraces patients’ unique characteristics to provide appropriate and effective care for all.
Addressing Health Disparities
In this blog post, we’ll identify the possible barriers that patients face, and steps that can be taken to reduce these and improve the imaging environment.
Patients with Impaired Physical Mobility
Radiologists often lack education and general training surrounding the care of differently-abled patients, which stems from physical inaccessibility issues of the imaging equipment.
Providing handholds or fixed pads on the imaging equipment or providing railings and steps to access elevated imaging tables are some of the many things that can improve accessibility in the imaging environment for patients with limited mobility.
Communicating With Patients with Hearing Impairments
During the imaging examination of a patient with impaired hearing, make sure to inquire about their preferred method of communication.
Consider gentle taps on the patient’s knee or shoulder to get their attention.
Visually Impaired Patients
When communicating with patients with visual impairment, it’s important for the radiologist to avoid environments that have excess background noises.
Moreover, delivering post procedure instructions in audio formats or printed in large font can also be beneficial.
Implementing Digital Radiography Systems
Digital radiography (DR) systems have replaced the standard computed radiography (CR) system with flat panel detectors that act as the digital imaging sensor. The detector, which is plugged into a computer, produces high-quality medical images for immediate viewing after exposure.
How DR Systems Improve the X-ray Examination Process
DR systems offer significant advantages over CR systems in terms of patient comfort and safety.
CR systems require a labor-intensive process for image processing as the cassette needs to be removed from the X-ray machine and placed in a CR reader by the technologist.
In other words, this requires the technologist to leave the patient’s bedside with every imaging procedure—which isn’t an ideal situation when dealing with vulnerable patients. Conversely, DR systems carry their own calibration file, are portable, and eliminate this intermediary image processing step.
Moreover, DR systems have higher dose efficiency, which means that they use a lower radiation dose per exposure—providing a safer X-ray experience for all patients.
Offering quick acquisition of high-resolution images along with the ability to preview them within seconds, DR systems have proved to be diagnostically crucial to patient care. In fact, several healthcare facilities have realized that DR systems effectively address workflow issues, resulting in shorter examination time.
What’s more, direct digital radiography (DDR) systems offer immediate viewing of the medical image anywhere on the PACS networking, enabling doctors to examine more patients along with the added benefit of higher image quality.
ExamVue provides high quality digital radiology equipment, including DR flat panel detectors, wireless X-ray detector and X-ray image viewing software to podiatrists, orthopedist, chiropractors, and other medical specialties.
Get in touch with us today for more information about our products.