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J Digit Imaging. 2009 Aug;22(4):357-62. doi: 10.1007/s10278-008-9115-2. Epub 2008 May 6.

Radiologist use of and perceived need for patient data access.

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Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Given the increasing volume of radiological exams, the decreasing frequency of direct communication with the referring provider, and the distribution of patient data over many clinical systems, radiologists often do not have adequate clinical information at the time of interpretation. We have performed a survey of radiologists to determine the need and actual utilization of patient data at the time of image interpretation. Our findings demonstrate that most radiologists want more clinical information when interpreting images and that this information would impact their report, but they are discouraged by the time it takes to access this information. In addition, current mechanisms for monitoring necessary patient follow-up are inadequate.

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