ACR Appropriateness Criteria Patient Summaries May Be Step Toward Patient-Centered Care

New Appropriateness Criteria patient summaries can help patients better understand which imaging tests may be best for their condition or why they may not need an imaging exam at all. The first examples of the series of summaries created by patients for patients in everyday language are now published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR.

The goal of the new patient summaries is to enable patients to more fully participate in their imaging care. The summaries are less than 250 words and written in language that is easily understood by those with little or no medical experience or training. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are comprised of 237 evidence-based guidelines, created and continually updated by multidisciplinary teams of expert physicians to help providers make the most appropriate diagnostic imaging and image-guided treatment decisions for specific clinical conditions.

"We expect that ordering physicians, radiologists, and patients will welcome these summaries. They can help providers explain why they are requesting a certain imaging test or no test at all. This helps patients more fully participate in their care and promotes a better doctor-patient relationship," says Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, JACR editor-in-chief. "They also will promote radiologists' involvement in the health care team."

The summaries are part of the larger ACR effort to provide more patient- and family-centered radiology care.

"These summaries are presented in language as free of medical jargon as possible so that more people will readily understand the information. This better equips patients to make informed health care choices and fosters patient-provider collaboration to improve health care," says JACR patient advocate associate editor, Andrea Borondy Kitts, MS, MPH.

Source: ACR