Dematerialisation of patient’s informed consent in radiology: insights on current status and radiologists’ opinion from an Italian online survey

  • Francesca Coppola
  • Lorenzo FaggioniEmail author
  • Roberto Grassi
  • Corrado Bibbolino
  • Agatina Rizzo
  • Nicoletta Gandolfo
  • Antonella Calvisi
  • Carlo Alberto Cametti
  • Giorgio Benea
  • Andrea Giovagnoni
  • Carmelo Privitera
  • Daniele Regge



To assess the current status of patient’s informed consent (PIC) management at radiological centres and the overall opinion of radiologist active members of the Italian Society of Medical Radiology (SIRM) about PIC dematerialisation through an online survey.

Methods and materials

All members were invited to join the survey as an initiative by the Imaging Informatics Chapter of SIRM. The survey consisted of 11 multiple-choice questions about participants’ demographics, current local modalities of PIC acquisition and storage, perceived advantages and disadvantages of PIC dematerialisation over conventional paper-based PIC, and overall opinion about PIC dematerialisation.


A total of 1791 radiologists (amounting to 17.4% of active SIRM members for the year 2016) joined the survey. Perceived advantages of PIC dematerialisation were easier and faster PIC recovery (96.5%), safer storage and conservation (94.5%), and reduced costs (90.7%). Conversely, the need to create dedicated areas for PIC acquisition inside each radiological unit (64.0%) and to gain preliminary approval for the use of advanced digital signature tools from patients (51.8%) were seen as potential disadvantages. Overall, 94.5% of respondents had a positive opinion about PIC dematerialisation.


Radiologists were mostly favourable to PIC dematerialisation. However, concerns were raised that its practical implementation might face hurdles due to its complexity in current real life working conditions.


Informed consent Dematerialisation Online survey Paperless 



This study received no funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Coppola
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Faggioni
    • 2
    Email author
  • Roberto Grassi
    • 3
  • Corrado Bibbolino
    • 4
  • Agatina Rizzo
    • 5
  • Nicoletta Gandolfo
    • 6
  • Antonella Calvisi
    • 7
  • Carlo Alberto Cametti
    • 8
  • Giorgio Benea
    • 9
  • Andrea Giovagnoni
    • 10
  • Carmelo Privitera
    • 5
  • Daniele Regge
    • 11
  1. 1.Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty MedicineS. Orsola Malpighi University HospitalBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital of PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Campania “L. Vanvitelli”NaplesItaly
  4. 4.SNR FoundationRomeItaly
  5. 5.UOC RadiodiagnosticaAOU Policlinico Vittorio EmanueleCataniaItaly
  6. 6.Department of ImagingASL 3 Genovese - Villa Scassi HospitalGenoaItaly
  7. 7.Department of RadiologyUSL N. 3 - S. Francesco HospitalNuoroItaly
  8. 8.Department of RadiologyASL TO2 - San G. Bosco HospitalTurinItaly
  9. 9.Department of Interventional and Diagnostic RadiologyArcispedale Sant’AnnaFerraraItaly
  10. 10.Radiology DepartmentUniversità Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  11. 11.Department of RadiologyCandiolo Cancer Institute, FPO-IRCCSCandiolo, TurinItaly

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