Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the added utility of embedding images for findings described in radiology text reports to referring clinicians. Methods: Thirty-five cases referred for abdominal CT scans in 2007 and 2008 were included. Referring physicians were asked to view text-only reports, followed by the same reports with pertinent images embedded. For each pair of reports, a questionnaire was administered. A 5-point, Likert-type scale was used to assess if the clinical query was satisfactorily answered by the text-only report. A "yes-or-no" question was used to assess whether the report with images answered the clinical query better; a positive answer to this question generated "yes-or-no" queries to examine whether the report with images helped in making a more confident decision on management, whether it reduced time spent in forming the plan, and whether it altered management. The questionnaire asked whether a radiologist would be contacted with queries on reading the text-only report and the report with images. Results: In 32 of 35 cases, the text-only reports satisfactorily answered the clinical queries. In these 32 cases, the reports with attached images helped in making more confident management decisions and reduced time in planning management. Attached images altered management in 2 cases. Radiologists would have been consulted for clarifications in 21 and 10 cases on reading the text-only reports and the reports with embedded images, respectively. Conclusions: Providing relevant images with reports saves time, increases physicians' confidence in deciding treatment plans, and can alter management.
- digital images
- radiology practice
- Radiology reporting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging