Dear Patient,

CHF

 

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/126/1/138/F1.expansion.html

Below is a letter that was never written (letter A):

Dear Patient,

Your doctor Dr. XYZ has asked me to review your chest X-ray yesterday, since you were complaining of feeling out of breath.

I have reviewed your X-ray very carefully and realized that your heart size is larger than normal and you seem to have extra water in your lungs. This may suggest a form of heart failure, and may have caused you feeling out of breath.

That said, I would strongly recommend that you follow-up with Dr. XYZ shortly and have a more in-depth conversation with him about this and other possible alternative diagnoses, as imaging alone may not offer a complete picture of your health.

If you have any question about this letter, please feel free to email me at: radiologist@radiology.com.

Thanks for allowing me to be part of your healthcare team.

Sincerely,

Radiologist

======================================================

Below is the letter (letter B) the patient actually receives:

One view chest X-ray

Reason: Shortness of breath

Findings:

There is cardiomegaly with pulmonary vascular congestion and edema. Superimposed bibasilar atelectasis/infiltrates are not excluded.  There are pleural effusions bilaterally.

Impression:

Probable congestive heart failure.  Clinical correlation is suggested.

If you are the patient, which letter do you prefer to receive?

 

Lake Tahoe, 4/1/2014

 

 

 

hchen23

Neuroradiologist by trade, enthusiast for big data, digital marketing, 3D printing in healthcare

1 Response

  1. April 14, 2014

    […] and hard to digest for a patient. However, I am very much inspired by recent poll results on Radbuz.com: the majority of the readers favored the more personal radiology reporting style than the cut and […]

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