Most Primary Care Doctors Prefer Delivering Radiology Results To Patients ThemselvesEditor's Choice
Main Category: Radiology / Nuclear Medicine
Also Included In: Primary Care / General Practice; MRI / PET / Ultrasound
Article Date: 01 Feb 2013 - 6:00 PST
Most Primary Care Doctors Prefer Delivering Radiology Results To Patients Themselves
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The vast majority of primary care physicians prefer to deliver radiology results to their patients themselves - they say they feel medically and legally obligated by recommendations within radiology reports, according to an article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Lead author, Andrew J. Gunn, MD, explained that radiology reports are the primary means of communication between the patient, the radiologist and the care team involved in the patient's therapy. The report serves a vital role in facilitating patients' care, especially for general practitioners (primary care doctors) in an outpatient setting.
Dr. Gunn said:
"There is considerable interest in improving radiology reporting practices. However, as radiologists propose measures to improve reporting, it is wise to obtain an understanding of the needs and opinions of referring physicians, particularly primary care physicians, regarding these measures so that their feedback and ideas can be incorporated into any change in practice."
Dr. Gunn and team carried out a survey involving 229 primary care physicians using an internal list server. He explained that all the responses were gathered confidentially.
100 general practitioners responded. Below are some highlighted data from the survey:
- Most of the primary care physicians were happy with radiology reporting and recommendations in general.
- 95% of the doctors who responded believed that ordering physicians should deliver the results of examinations directly to their patients
- None of the primary care physicians felt that the radiology report should be delivered by the radiologist.
- 94% of the primary care physicians felt "medico-legally obligated by recommendations by radiologists with their reports".
- 23% felt more medico-legally obligated if the recommendation "is set apart from the clinical setting".
- If qualifying language is added to the recommendation, 58% of respondents felt less medico-legally obligated
Primary care physicians do not want more direct involvement of radiologsists in delivering results to patients
Dr. Gunn said:
"Our study suggests primary care physicians prefer to deliver the results of examinations themselves and feel medico-legally obligated by recommendations within radiology reports, even though this seems to be influenced by the wording and location of the recommendations within reports. Radiologists should consider these factors when contemplating changes in reporting practices.
"Continuing improvements in radiology reporting practices are essential to the service that radiologists provide to patients and referring physicians. These improvements, however, should consider the preferences of both patients and referring physicians to optimize care. Future research, such as patient focus groups, patient satisfaction surveys, and surveying other medical specialties, is necessary to better delineate and understand these preferences.
A Primary care physician (PCP) is a doctor who provides both the first contact for a patient with an undiagnosed health issue, as well as continued care of a range of medical conditions, not limited by cause, organ system or diagnosis.
The term "primary care physician" is mainly used in the USA. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and many other English speaking countries, the equivalent term "general practitioner" (GP) is used.
Radiology is a specialty of medicine that diagnoses and treats disease with ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Radiology uses the following imaging technologies:
- X-ray radiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Nuclear medicine
- Ultrasound, computed tomography (CT)
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
Andrew J. Gunn, MD
Journal of the American College of Radiology Volume 10, Issue 2 , Pages 122-127, February 2013. doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2012.08.013
19 May. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/255732.php>
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
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