LIVE COVERAGE: The Patient's Clinical Team
One common theme in continuing education today is moving beyond simply refreshing clinical knowledge, to learning how to optimize emerging technologies and expanding one's skill set and taking on new roles and challenges, to remain relevant and central to patient care.
This morning, in a session titled "It's a New Era for Pathologists: Real-Life Examples of How Pathologists Successfully Practice in New Roles," Jennifer Hunt, MD, MED; and Susan Rollins, MD, examined the patient's clinical team.
Drs. Hunt and Rollins explored the changing role pathologists plan in providing services to patients, providers and institutions in the face of an increasingly dynamic healthcare environment.
They noted laboratory professionals are actively exploring opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge to enhance patient care by taking on new and emerging roles in laboratory medicine.
One such role is pathologist-performed ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (USFNA), in which pathologists streamline and improve sensitivity and specificity in the biopsy process. Dr. Rollins provided real-life experience and tips for attendees interested in setting up and practicing USFNA in their own facilities.
Dr. Hunt focused on an innovative program designed to help pathologists build enhanced patient communication skills necessary for successfully operating in patient-centric, collaborative care models, through patient-pathologist consultations.
Meeting with patients after the diagnosis to sit down and review the report, the results and the diagnosis gives pathologists, who may not see the patient face-to-face during the diagnostic process a chance to connect with patients, and fills a needed role in the growing trend of patient-centered personalized medicine.
Patients are increasingly seeking information about their disease, often on the internet, and many times receiving misinformation. "I am a believer this is a very important and interesting role pathologists can take on," Dr. Hunt stressed. "It's absolutely critical--education and information for the patient--they're seeking it, we can provide it.
"It's rewarding when you get a chance to see that look on a patients face when you've really helped them-making a doctor-patient connection makes you feel like a valuable part of the patient care team," Dr. Hunt related.