Patients Lack Information about Imaging Exams

Jay K. Pahade, M.D.

One in five people are showing up for the exam without any information about the test they are getting. This is an important finding in today’s health care system, where we want more patient engagement and involvement.

Patients and their caregivers desire information about upcoming imaging examinations, but many are not getting it, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The researchers found that half of all patients and caregivers end up seeking information on their own.

As medicine shifts to an era of patient-centered care, much of the efforts in radiology have focused on communicating the results of imaging tests to patients. Less attention has been paid to engaging patients prior to and during the examination, said study lead author Jay K. Pahade, M.D., an associate professor of radiology at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.

To find out more about this often-overlooked aspect of care, in early 2015 Dr. Pahade and colleagues surveyed patients and caregivers at three pediatric and three adult hospitals across the U.S. Questions focused on patient and caregiver preferences for receiving imaging test information before an exam and what type of information they found most useful.

Overall, 1,117 of 1,438 respondents, or 78 percent, reported receiving information about their examination.

“This means one in five people are showing up for the exam without any information about the test they are getting,” Dr. Pahade said. “This is an important finding in today’s health care system, where we want more patient engagement and involvement.”

Ordering providers were the predominant and preferred source of examination-related information. For…

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