Role of Communication in Radiology

By Dr. Sonia Dhall in Radiology

Mar 05 , 2019 | 2 min read

Communication is an act of sharing or exchanging of information, ideas or feelings.

Effective and clear communication is one of the prerequisites for getting good quality diagnostic images from any investigation.

This is necessary right from the point of obtaining an appointment to actually conducting and reporting the tests. This minimizes patient waiting time as patient comes appropriately prepared. It also helps alleviating anxiety and putting the patient at ease which helps get his/ her complete co-operation during the test so that optimal images are obtained without repetition of procedure and test resulting in maximum and accurate information for the benefit of the patient.

During pretest interaction, if the technician or doctor spends a few seconds explaining what is expected during the test and the body language as well as words are laced with empathy, the patient’s anxiety is reduced.

Communication should be both ways. The patient should be forthcoming in describing his/ her ailment and fears as accurately as possible. The referring doctor should also be clear in communicating the questions that are required to be addressed by doing the investigation.

This way, the test can be modified to “tailor” the patient problem without over or under investigating and/ or repeating tests unnecessarily.

Lastly, the radiology test reports should be crisp, clear and comprehensive while clearly stating any areas of uncertainty or ambiguity so that the referring doctor can suggest a follow-up or additional investigations if required.

Our patients are well informed now and have a certain expectation from us. It is our duty to deliver medical care in a quick, safe and effective way bearing in mind the inconvenience of expenses and time consumed in conducting multiple, sometimes inconclusive/ inappropriate investigations as well as unnecessary exposure to radiation due to some of these tests.

Our endeavor at radiology department in Max Healthcare is to put a patient through appropriate investigations in a timely and safe manner with least discomfort and inconvenience to the patient in an empathetic environment helping the patient and clinician quickly arrive at an accurate diagnosis so that he/ she can be managed and followed up appropriately.

We have doctors and technicians taking history, cross-checking with referring doctor for clarifications if necessary, following checklists and taking second opinions from colleagues in complicated cases.

We have an integrated RIS PACS in the department so that previous test results and images are available for comparisons even if they are done at another hub in the Max Healthcare system.

We take feedback for improvement positively and hope to continue to improve and evolve with the environment and requirements which are constantly changing.

Written and Verified by: