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J Am Coll Radiol. 2018 Nov;15(11):1573-1579. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2017.10.032. Epub 2018 Jan 2.

Radiologists' Experience With Patient Interactions in the Era of Open Access of Patients to Radiology Reports.

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Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Medical Faculty, University Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Department of Radiology, ACCamargo Cancer Center, São Paulo, Brazil.
Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:



The aim of this study was to evaluate radiologists' experiences with patient interactions in the era of open access of patients to radiology reports.


This prospective, nonrandom survey of staff and trainee radiologists (n = 128) at a single large academic institution was performed with approval from the institutional review board with a waiver of the requirement to obtain informed consent. A multiple-choice questionnaire with optional free-text comments was constructed with an online secure platform (REDCap) and distributed via departmental e-mail between June 1 and July 31, 2016. Participation in the survey was voluntary and anonymous, and responses were collected and aggregated via REDCap. Statistical analysis of categorical responses was performed with the χ2 test, with statistical significance defined as P < .05.


Almost three-quarters of surveys (73.4% [94 of 128]) were completed. Staff radiologists represented 54.3% of survey respondents (51 of 94) and trainees 45.7% (43 of 94). Most respondents (78.7% [74 of 94]) found interactions with patients to be a satisfying experience. More than half of radiologists (54.3% [51 of 94]) desired more opportunities for patient interaction, with no significant difference in the proportion of staff and trainee radiologists who desired more patient interaction (56.9% [29 of 51] versus 51.2% [22 of 43], P = .58). Staff radiologists who specialized in vascular and interventional radiology and mammography were significantly more likely to desire more patient interaction compared with other specialists (77.8% [14 of 18] versus 45.5% [15 of 33], P = .03). Only 4.2% of radiologists (4 of 94) found patient interactions to be detrimental to normal workflow, with 19.1% of radiologists (18 of 94) reporting having to spend more than 15 min per patient interaction.


Most academic staff and trainee radiologists would like to have more opportunities for patient interaction and consider patient interaction rarely detrimental to workflow.


Patient interaction; direct reporting; open access; radiologist survey

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