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Patient Access to an Online Portal for Outpatient Radiological Images and Reports: Two Years’ Experience

Abstract

To assess the incidence of outpatient examinations delivered through a web portal in the Latium Region in 2 years and compare socio-demographic characteristics of these users compared to the total of examinations performed. All radiological exams (including MRI, X-ray and CT) performed from March 2017 to February 2019 were retrospectively analysed. For each exam, anonymized data of users who attended the exam were extracted and their characteristics were compared according to digital access to the reports. Overall, 9068 exams were performed in 6720 patients (55.8% males, median age 58 years, interquartile range (IQR) 46–70) of which 90.2% residents in Rome province, mainly attending a single radiological examination (77.3%). Among all exams, 446 (4.9%) were accessed, of which 190 (4.4%) in the first and 5.4% in the second year (p < 0.041). MRI was the type of exams mostly accessed (175, 7.0%). Being resident in the provinces of the Latium Region other than Rome was associated with a higher access rate (OR = 1.84, p = 0.001). Considering the overall costs sustained to implement a web portal which allows users a personal access to their own reports, if all users would have accessed/downloaded their exams, an overall users’ and hospital savings up to €255,808.28 could have been determined. The use of a web portal could represent a consistent economical advantage for the user, the hospital and the environment. Even if increasing over time, the use of web portal is still limited and strategies to increase the use of such systems should be implemented.

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Abbreviations

CDA2:

Clinical Document Architecture

DICOM:

Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine

ESCAPE:

Electronic Signature in Care Activities for Paper Elimination

HL7:

Health Level Seven

ICT:

Information and Communications Technology

ISN:

Image Share Network

JPEG:

Joint Photographic Experts Group

NIH:

National Institutes of Health

PDF:

Portable Document Format

RIM:

Reference Information Model

RSNA:

Radiological Society of North America

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Correspondence to Pierluca Piselli.

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Key Points

• The growth of radiology will result in an increased demand for image and report sharing.

• Frequency of online access to medical reports and radiological is still low but increasing over time.

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Cite this article

Cristofaro, M., Piselli, P., Pianura, E. et al. Patient Access to an Online Portal for Outpatient Radiological Images and Reports: Two Years’ Experience. J Digit Imaging 33, 1479–1486 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10278-020-00359-5

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Keywords

  • Cost savings
  • eHealth
  • Electronic medical record (EMR)
  • Health level 7 (HL7)
  • Hospital records