Insight From Patients for Radiologists: Improving Our Reporting Systems

Annette J. Johnson, Doug Easterling, Linda S. Williams, Sharon Glover, Richard M. Frankel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to seek patients' perspectives on radiology reporting systems, so that reporting systems can begin to be reorganized and made more patient-centered by giving patients greater access to their personal health information. Methods: Focus group methodology was used to explore which aspects of radiology information are important to patients and to identify their preferred means of access to and format of this information. Subjects for the two groups were outpatients who had recently undergone MR imaging at a single academic medical center. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: Most subjects were dissatisfied with current reporting systems, citing delays and a lack of detail as the most important problems. Subjects varied with regard to preferences for who should relay results to them, with some expressing a desire for increased direct input from radiologists because they have greater expertise in imaging interpretation. Most subjects wanted results in writing and in detail, with attached lay language explanations, though a few subjects preferred less detail. Subjects were decidedly in favor of having the option to access results immediately via an online system, proposing some potential problems and potentially multiple benefits of such a system. Conclusions: Whatever system revisions are attempted to increase the patient-centeredness of care as regards to radiology reporting, patients will need to be able to choose their preferred levels of access and will need to have the option of accessing full details.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-794
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Patient-centered
  • qualitative
  • radiology reporting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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