Radiologists Want More Patient Contact

February 1, 2019

Patient interaction does not affect work flow, improves radiologist satisfaction.

Radiologists would like more patient interaction, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from the United States, Germany, and Brazil performed a prospective, nonrandom survey of radiologists to evaluate their experiences with patient interactions.

The voluntary and anonymous multiple-choice survey was distributed to 128 staff and trainee radiologists from a single large academic institution. The survey also allowed for optional free-text comments.

Ninety-four (73.4%) surveys were completed; 51 (54.3%) by staff and 43 (45.7%) by trainees. Most of the respondents indicated that patient interaction was positive:

  • 74 of 94 (78.7%) reported interactions with patients were satisfying

  • 51 of 94 (54.3%) wanted more opportunities for patient interaction

Fourteen of 18 (77.8%) of staff radiologists who specialized in vascular and interventional radiology and mammography were significantly more likely to want more patient interaction compared with 15 of 33 (45.5%) other specialists. A small group, four of 94 (4.2%), said they found patient interactions to be detrimental to normal workflow.

Eighteen of the 94 (19.1%) radiologists said that they spent more than 15 minutes per patient interaction.

The researchers concluded that most radiologists would prefer to have more contact with the patients and that contact did not generally affect work flow.