Patients prefer immediate access to radiology reports

Not surprising – I want it and I want it now –  to be irreverent, but more seriously, we are all worried when we get a scan and waiting any longer for good or bad news just makes it worse.

My experience has been that when it is serious, one gets the news back quickly (e.g, a call from the hospital is not a good thing!).

Some clinics – e.g., breast cancer in Ottawa – have a best practice when the imaging oncologist sees the patient within about an hour of imaging to be able to give a quick interpretation. Reduces the waiting anxiety to almost nothing.

Having read my full share of imaging reports, as well as having seen my own scans, I actually prefer having the professional interpretation – even if I have to wait a bit.

Patients prefer immediate access to radiology reports.

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2 thoughts on “Patients prefer immediate access to radiology reports

  1. I am a little worried with new health care mandates about “immediate access” to radiology reports. My patients are intelligent and savvy, but most don’t have the training or experience to interpret these reports in the big picture. Moreover, our radiologist always overcall what they see. I can tell you, though, I’d want access to my own scans and pour over every word and every image :)

    • Thanks for your comments. Agree with the limits of what I, as a patient, can interpret. While the written summaries are sometimes hard enough (use of technical terms), I really realized my limits when I got my raw scans (CT and MRI). Pretty pictures but not too meaningful without the interpretation. But still nice to have! Andrew

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