Adding value to imaging services: a survey of patient and referring physician preferences for direct radiologic reporting of results

Published:December 04, 2020DOI:


      • This is survey-based study assessing both patient-physician preference for the reporting of radiologic results.
      • The results include the added dimension of highlighting the biopsychosocial aspect of undergoing imaging studies.
      • The outcomes bolster the importance of incorporating patients’ needs in the medical decision-making process.



      To identify preferences of patients and referring physicians for direct patient communication and notification of radiologic study results.


      An anonymous survey was conducted of patients undergoing outpatient radiologic imaging studies and their referring physicians. The voluntary surveys elicited responses regarding preferences on a 5-point Likert scale (Strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree and strongly agree), as well as indicated by responding yes or no to specific questions.


      368 patients completed the survey. 81.5% of patient responders preferred all results communicated from the radiologist within the same day. 65.9% of patients preferred same day results if normal vs 65.8% if abnormal. 34.5% preferred to wait and review normal results with the referring physician. 41.5% preferred to wait and review abnormal results with the referring physician. It was found that patients were more likely to strongly agree with waiting to review results with the referring physician if the results were abnormal, as opposed to normal (18.5% vs 11.9%, respectively; P < 0.014). 64% of physicians did not want results reviewed with their patients; 87.6% did not want a report sent to the patient by the radiologist, even after report was sent to their office. 66.4% of patients surveyed indicated that waiting for imaging results gives them anxiety.


      58–82% of patients preferred same day radiologist communication of their results while 55–87.6% of physicians did not prefer same day radiologist communication of results directly with their patients. 66.4% of patients surveyed indicated that waiting for imaging results gives them anxiety.


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