After answering a few calls from patients who had questions about their radiology reports, Dr. Ryan Short and other co-residents at Duke University School of Medicine wanted to dig a little deeper into the topic of patient access to radiology reports. In a literature search, Short and colleagues learned that 92% of U.S. hospitals in 2015 offered patients access to their medical record through an online patient portal. What's more, a 2016 study from the University of Washington concluded that more than half of patients were viewing their radiology reports in the patient portal, Short said.
"These statistics left us with a few questions," he said. "How well do patients understand their radiology reports? [And] could we make changes to the radiology report in order to improve patient understanding?"
In an attempt to answer these questions, they distributed a survey to 193 women in the U.S. using Amazon's Mechanical Turk online crowdsourcing platform. All participants were randomized to receive one of three simulated mammography report formats: a standard report, a patient letter modeled on the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), or a web-based interactive report created using narrative-style, patient-friendly terminology. These reports also featured interactive diagrams to explain the imaging findings and convey the radiologist's follow-up recommendations, Short said.
The participants were surveyed to assess their comprehension of each report's findings, as well as their satisfaction with and perception of the interpreting radiologist and their overall experience with the report they received. The web-based interactive report and the patient letter generated higher comprehension scores and radiologist satisfaction scores than the standard report.
Visit this presentation on Tuesday to learn more about the group's web-based interactive radiology report.