Pay attention to patient portals

2018 05 22 21 54 4018 Computer Typing 400

Patients appreciate getting imaging results both via direct provider contact and via electronic patient portals – but they may have less understanding of advanced imaging results when they receive them online, according to a study published April 29 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

A group led by Kira Garry of the New York University School of Medicine found that in a study that included 1,005 survey respondents, most were satisfied with the timing of receipt of imaging results, regardless of whether these results were communicated through the patient portal (88.8%) or through direct provider communication (89.9%).

But patients who first received imaging results through the patient portal had a lesser understanding of those results than patients who had direct contact with a provider, Garry and colleagues noted (26.7% compared to 47.8%), particularly for CT or MRI (29.3%) compared with modalities such as ultrasound (40.3%) or x-rays (38.2%).

The study findings suggest that more work needs to be done to make sharing imaging results with patients online effective, the group concluded.

"As online portal release of radiology results to patients becomes commonplace, efforts may be warranted to improve patient experience when first receiving their radiology results online," the authors wrote.

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