Research shows use of patient portals can increase patient understanding of their health conditions.
Already gaining popularity in health systems nationwide, patient portals could now play a more significant role in radiology by automatically structuring and combining radiology reports with related imaging studies. This integration would give patients greater access to helpful information about their health status.
In a study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, the University of California-Los Angeles developed as web-based patient portal for individuals with brain cancer.
Allowing patients to view their radiology reports makes sense even if patients can’t fully understand the studies, the authors wrote, because the patient interest is there.
“Even though radiology test results are one of the most difficult portions of the clinical record for lay people to understand, they are one of the most frequently accessed pieces of information via patient portals when available,” they wrote.
The foundation of the portal is imaging informatics tools that translate clinically-generated information into more educational views that, then, can be customized by patient and disease. Researchers recommended the portal for use during office visits to avoid an misunderstandings and inappropriate release of medical information.