What do radiologists need to know about patients' expectations?

2018 09 26 18 14 5544 Pet Scan Patient 400

Radiology departments should review their existing and future organization with the imaging team to improve patient communication, according to a statement posted on 22 March in Insights into Imaging.

The report from the Patient Advisory Group (PAG) of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) points out that radiology departments and medical imaging services are not always dedicated to patients' needs and expectations and that patient-centered radiology is key to meeting patients' demands.

"Empathy, listening, patience and understanding are qualities that must be developed in all medical imaging teams, starting from the first person in contact with the patient, throughout the whole course of the examination, including waiting for results," the authors noted. "The patient must feel that they are the focus of attention of care teams."

Explanations must be given throughout the examination, covering aspects such as specific preparations for an examination, need for injection, radiographers’ expectations of the patient (e.g. mobility issues or frailty), updates on prolonged waiting times, and the need for any further injection or any additional imaging with another modality.

Radiology staff should use this statement to provide patient-focused services daily, the authors wrote.

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