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Patients Want Results from Referring Docs, Access to Images and Reports

A majority of radiology patients prefer to hear their results from the ordering provider rather than a radiologist, but most also want the option to review the images and reports from their imaging tests themselves, according to study results published online April 16 by the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Cabarrus and his team of researchers set out to gauge patients’ interest in communicating directly with a radiologist about test results, and to assess overall patient preferences regarding imaging. Preferences for how patients receive and access imaging results, as well as understanding of radiologists’ education and involvement in patient care, were the primary topics explored in the survey.

The results revealed that a majority of radiology patients (63 percent) prefer to learn about imaging test results from their doctors rather than a radiologist. Not surprisingly, most patients—85 percent— also expressed interest in having access to the actual images resulting from imaging scans, while 64 percent of those surveyed responded affirmatively when asked about receiving a copy of the imaging report.

One reason for this, the researchers suggest, is that patients showed a general lack of understanding about the education and role of radiologists in medical care. “It is possible that this misunderstanding is a contributor to patients’ disinterest in hearing results from radiologists,” the researchers wrote, “as suggested by our subanalysis showing slightly more interest in radiologist-centric communication models among patients most familiar with radiologists’ role.

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Published: 2015-04-29




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