JOURNAL CLUB: Structured Reporting: The Voice of the Customer in an Ongoing Debate About the Future of Radiology Reporting.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this survey was to assess the perception, preferences, and expectations of recipients of radiology reports in terms of style and content. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 2016, 3610 general practitioners and hospital-based physicians in northwestern Switzerland were invited to participate in a survey. The questionnaire consisted of a demographics section, a current satisfaction section, and a section addressing expectations and preferences concerning content and structure. The participants were asked to rate (range of scores, 1-10) four different layouts of radiology reports (text, structured text, tables, images) in terms of comprehensibility and efficiency. RESULTS: A total of 570 participants (132 general practitioners, 438 hospital physicians at five hospitals) completed the survey. Regarding layout preferences, structured text (median, 8) and images (median, 7) rated highest in terms of readability, time saving, and helpfulness in communication with patients compared with tables (median, 5) and unstructured text (median, 4). The participants responded that reports should give normal values as references (60% [344/570] positive), mention normal structures (50% [286/570] positive), and list additional findings in the summary (89% [507/570] positive). Positive ratings for a confidence statement (54% [308/570]), a list of differential diagnoses (89% [507/570]), and a recommendation (66% [377/570]) indicated an active radiologist's role is appreciated. Eighty percent (459/570) of respondents stated a report should allow fast and efficient reading. CONCLUSION: The voice of the customer approach shows referring physicians have distinct expectations and specific but predominantly coherent preferences with regard to radiology reporting. The survey results offer valuable specific feedback and a strong argument in favor of structured reporting.
Heye, T; Gysin, V; Boll, DT; Merkle, EM
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