Radiologists’ Communication with ED Patients Improves Satisfaction

May 19, 2016
Diagnostic Imaging Staff

Patient satisfaction with ED experience improves when radiologists deliver test results, according to a study at ACR 2016.

Direct delivery of radiology findings to ED patients results in improved patient satisfaction, according to a presentation at the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Indiana and Washington performed a survey to determine if delivering imaging results via direct patient interaction would improve the patient experience during an ED visit.

Forty-one patients who presented to the ED and underwent cross-sectional imaging were given a short pretest questionnaire. Following the examination, the staff radiologist read out the study and the resident returned to the ED to discuss findings with ED resident and staff responsible for the patient and to learn the disposition of the patient. The radiologist then delivered the results to the patient and explained the imaging findings using a departmental iPad at the bedside. If the patient had imaging related questions, the radiologist answered them, and then the post-test survey was administered after the patient encounter. The Likert scale of one to five was used.

The results showed that in the pretest, only 15% of the patients correctly identified a radiologist as a doctor specialized in medical imaging and interpretation before the intervention; this improved to 73% postintervention.

The patients reported:

Wanting to see their images and discuss results with a radiologist: average 4.4/5

Anxiety about imaging findings before test: average 4.0/5

Improvement in anxiety after discussing results with a radiologist: average 4.2/5

Better understanding of their diagnosis and treatment plan after discussion with a radiologist: average 4.4/5

Improved overall satisfaction from reviewing imaging findings with a radiologist: average 4.5/5

They would be more likely to choose this hospital as a result of this radiologist consultation model: average 4.5/5

The researchers concluded that communicating radiology results directly to ED patients fulfills the goals of Imaging 3.0 by providing patient-centered, value-based care.