RSNA and ACR partner to help patients better understand their radiology reports has released a new series of informative articles and videos intended to help patients make more sense of their radiology reports. 

It is becoming increasingly common for patients to gain access to this information before their referring provider has even had time to review it. And while it can be beneficial for patients to have these documents in their possession, radiology reports are packed with complex medical jargon that many patients might struggle to understand.  

This can cause unnecessary anxiety among patients, especially when they have to wait days or weeks until their follow-up appointment. The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and American College of Radiology (ACR) produced a series of “How to Read Your Radiology Report” articles and “Understanding Your Radiology Report” videos for to address this issue. 

“Without guidance, patients may experience a lot of anxiety, as they try to understand what they’re reading,” Jay Pahade, MD, co-chair of the RSNA-ACR Public Information Website Committee, said in a news announcement. “These articles and videos on give patients the information they need to understand their results and to have important conversations about their health with their doctor.” 

The articles and videos span multiple imaging modalities. They were written and produced by doctors for patients and are broken down in a way that makes the information contained in radiology reports more easily understood by the general public. 

The series touches on topics like the basics of reading radiology reports, information about BI-RADS and LI-RADS and how to understand reports specific to various anatomy—abdomen, pelvis, chest, brain and more. In the videos, radiologists talk in detail about common findings in X-ray, CT, MRI and ultrasound exams, and pictures are provided to give patients an idea of what each finding looks like. 

Andrew J. Gunn, MD, associate professor and director of the Division of Interventional Radiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and co-chair of the RSNA-ACR Public Information Website Committee, said the latest update is a great complement to the existing 300-plus procedure, exam and disease descriptions currently on the website. 

“Like the rest of the website, they provide patients with information they can both trust and use to make informed decisions about their health care," he said.  

Hannah murhphy headshot

In addition to her background in journalism, Hannah also has patient-facing experience in clinical settings, having spent more than 12 years working as a registered rad tech. She joined Innovate Healthcare in 2021 and has since put her unique expertise to use in her editorial role with Health Imaging.

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