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J Am Coll Radiol. 2005 Feb;2(2):168-73.

Web-based results distribution: new channels of communication from radiologists to patients.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Indiana University Radiology Education and Research Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


Radiologists face substantial challenges in the timely and appropriate communication of diagnostic test results. As with other systems in health care delivery, the radiology reporting system is not designed to be optimally safe, timely, and patient centered. To improve the quality of care, there must be a new commitment to organizing services around patients' needs, including the reporting of diagnostic test results directly from radiologists to patients. The rationale for this change is that if both referring physicians and patients are given imaging examination results from radiologists immediately after their interpretation, it would be less likely that important diagnostic information would be lost or overlooked. The results would be provided to all stakeholders in a more timely fashion, the potential for important information to "fall through the cracks" would be diminished, and safety would be improved. Providing these results to patients directly online would also allow radiologists to facilitate increased patient satisfaction and patient-centered care by treating patients as "co-customers" and equal partners with referring physicians with regard to access to information and shared decision making.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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