A new report from a joint taskforce of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) recommends improved access to interventional radiologists in small and rural areas. The taskforce was formed to explore strategies for recruitment and retention of interventional radiologists in rural areas, which have the greatest challenges with access to interventional radiologic care.
“Interventional radiologists play a key role in improving patient health outcomes and creating healthier communities,” said Alan H Matsumoto (University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, USA), vice chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors and a member of the joint taskforce. “The recommendations should be beneficial for practices in small and rural areas that hope to recruit interventional radiologists and provide the care patients deserve.”
The taskforce focused on improving training opportunities, creating templates to help radiology practices and hospitals provide interventional radiology (IR) services in small and rural communities, and developing appropriate financial models to recruit interventional radiologists to these areas and retain their services.
“Access to an interventional radiologist’s care can be the difference between life and death, yet millions of Americans living in rural communities do not have access to the image-guided treatments interventional radiologists perform to literally save life and limb,” said SIR president Parag J Patel (Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA). “Access to IR services improves the care offered within a hospital or health system. The recommendations outlined in this paper will help practices attract IR talent and expand IR services where they are often needed the most, eliminating IR deserts and improving patients’ access to the care they need.”
The report has been published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).