been other physicians. Recognizing that there is another group of
people reading these reports is a good first step to improvement.
Based on patients’ feedback, which report findings
were most difficult for patients to understand? Why?
Has your institution begun putting steps in place
to report these findings more
While there haven’t been any institution-
What were some of the other
wide changes, I would hope that individual
radiologists in any practice would take a
look at this paper and consider ways to im-
prove his or her language.
overarching discoveries from the
patients’ feedback? What did you
learn from these specific discoveries?
First, patients identified “language” as the biggest problem
with radiology reports. Second, there was an inverse relationship
between report comprehension and report length. At the very
Q & A continued from p. 9 least, radiologists should consider cutting back on the number of
After conducting this study, why do you believe that
words used in the report.
patient feedback is important? Why should other
institutions take the time to collect patient feedback?
It’s important to engage patients because they are actively
seeking ways to participate in their own
care. It’s becoming the norm for physi-
cians and hospitals to provide unfettered
access to the medical record. In this re-
gard, radiologists can be proactive rather
I’m of the opinion that changes to re-
porting practices that include local feed-
back from patients and referring doctors
will be the most effective. No two prac-
tices are exactly alike. Radiologists can
form working groups with patients and
other specialties to come up with a reporting style that is agree-
able to all the stakeholders. I would think that this is more like-
ly to produce long-term success as opposed to something that
is “mandated” from the outside.n
It’s important to engage
patients because they are
actively seeking ways to
participate in their own care.
[By taking in patient feedback]
radiologists can be proactive
rather than reactive.
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