Communication between general practitioners and radiologists: opinions, experience, promises, pitfalls
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
, p. 325-330
University of Antwerp
Purpose: Studies encompassing the views and aspirations of general practitioners (GPs) concerning the radiology report are rare. We present the results of a large-scale survey among GPs in Flanders, Belgium, and examine its implications for the communication between radiologists and GPs. Materials and methods: GPs were invited by e-mail to participate in a survey on the radiology report. Respondents could state their degree of agreement with 46 statements. Besides that, they could freely make suggestions to improve the report. Quantitative results were examined to determine majority convictions. Free text suggestions were searched for motives and convictions. Results: Of 1323 GPs invited, 282 completed forms were prepared for analysis. 96.8% considered the report an indispensable tool. 85.5% were satisfied with it. Itemized reporting of complex examinations was favoured by a very large majority. 83 GPs (29.4%) made suggestions for improvement. Much emphasis was put upon the clinical role of the radiologist. The need to mark key images, to mention meaningful normal findings, to structure the report and to facilitate communication was also frequently mentioned. Conclusion: GPs expect the radiologist to think as a clinician and offer clinical answers. An automated electronic information chain may contribute to realize this objective but direct communication should always remain possible.