To investigate what referring clinicians suggest when asked how the quality of radiology reports can be improved.
At the end of the questionnaire of the COVER survey, a bi-national quantitative survey on the radiology report among referring physicians, clinical specialists and general practitioners were able to freely enter suggestions with regard to improving the quality of the report. These suggestions were isolated from the quantitative results. Subjects and themes were identified, examined, ordered, counted, compared and analysed.
Of a total of 3,884 invitations to participate, we received 735 response forms from clinicians (18.9%), 233 (31.7%) of which contained suggestions. Issues mentioned most frequently were the need for clinical information and a clinical question, for a conclusion, structuring, communicating directly with the clinician, completeness, integrating images or referring to images, mentioning relevant findings outside of the clinical question, mentioning a diagnosis or suitable differential diagnosis, and concise reporting.
Although these spontaneous suggestions are erratic and sometimes contradictory, they summarise the ideas as well as the emotions of these clients of the radiology department. Therefore it is advisable to take them into account when developing new ways of reporting.