Patients Are Viewing Their Radiology Reports

June 16, 2016

Patients who have access to their online radiology reports are viewing them.

More than half of patients with access to online radiology reports viewed them, according to a study published in Academic Radiology.

Researchers from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago sought to evaluate how often patients viewed their online radiology reports in relation to clinical and laboratory notes, and to identify sociodemographic factors associated with report viewing.

The study reviewed 129,419 patients who had online patient portal access in the researchers’ health system in 2014. The researchers noted if patients accessed their radiology and laboratory reports, and clinical notes, as well as their demographic information (gender, age, primary spoken language, race/ethnicity, and insurance status).

The results showed that there were 61,131 patients with at least one radiology report available. Of these, 31,308 of the patients (51.2%) viewed them. Patients who were more likely to view their radiology report were:

Women (56.2%)

Patients who were 25 to 39 years old (59.5%)

Primary language English speakers (53.6%)

Asian-Americans were more likely and African-Americans were less likely to view their radiology reports compared to whites, and patients with Medicaid were less likely to view radiology reports compared to patients with commercial insurance.

The researchers concluded that more than half of patients who did have access to their reports did view them, which may lead to more conversations between patients and radiologists.