“He is a frequent flyer.” This is a term we reserve for patients who consume a lot of services. In the outpatient clinic, it’s the type of patient who comes for frequent visits perhaps more often than medically necessary. Oftentimes, more than we’d like.
Historically, radiologists’ official written reports have functionally been proprietary communications between radiologists and referring providers. Although never secret, these reports have traditionally been archived in the medical record, with tightly controlled access. Patients rarely viewed reports directly. As patient-centered care, transparent communication, and electronic archiving have converged, however, radiologists’ reports, like many other medical record components, are increasingly accessible to patients via web-based “portals.” Many radiologists harbor justified anxiety about whether and how radiology reports should change in response to these portals.