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The patient-friendly radiology report: history, evolution, challenges and opportunities

      Highlights

      • In the past, radiology reports were intended for clinicians, but today reports are commonly read by patients themselves.
      • The 21st Century Cures Act requires that radiology reports in electronic health records be visible to patients without delay.
      • In recent years, new strategies have been developed to make radiology reports more patient-friendly.

      Abstract

      The past several decades have witnessed dramatic developments and improvements in the field of radiology, including technologic innovations and new imaging modalities, picture archiving and communication systems, and the rise of artificial intelligence. At the same time, an evolution has been occurring in a fundamental component of radiology practice – the radiologist's report. Initially, the radiology report was a private written communication between the radiologist and the referring physician
      • Sherman R.S.
      The roentgenologist as a consultant.
      • Sherman R.S.
      Whom do we serve?.
      . Today, the report is an electronic document, displayed on web portals, and visible to both physicians and the patients themselves.
      • Alarifi M.
      • Patrick T.
      • Jabour A.
      • Wu M.
      • Luo J.
      Full radiology report through patient web portal: a literature review.
      A provision in the 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law on December 13, 2016, ensures that radiology reports in the electronic health record are visible to patients without delay . To meet modern patient expectations and legal requirements, the structure and purpose of the radiologist report is changing. This article will provide an overview of the history of radiology reporting and the law, discuss the role of the radiologist report within the context of patient and family centered care, review current strategies and investigations in patient-friendly reporting, and summarize radiology reporting challenges and opportunities for the future.

      Keywords

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