By staff writers

April 3, 2012 -- Patients want quick access to radiology test results, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology by researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Researchers asked 53 adult outpatients from the hospital's imaging center to complete electronic questionnaires. Participants were presented with three simulated clinical scenarios and asked to answer questions about their preferred timing for online access to reports, communication methods, educational resources, and alternative formats (JACR, April 2012, Vol. 9:4, pp. 256-263).

Dr. Annette Johnson and colleagues found that 81% of the participants said they would use an online portal to access radiologic test results if such a system were available. Forty-three percent said they preferred the online portal over any other method of notification, including a phone call from a nurse or a physician, a mailed letter explaining the results, an email explaining the results, or a return visit with their doctor.

For the majority of survey participants, immediate access was the most preferred option, and more than 80% wanted online access within three days. Preferences for timing did not vary significantly across the three scenarios or by a participant's age or gender, according to Johnson and colleagues.

Copyright © 2012

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