When requesting an imaging examination what information should a clinician provide for a radiologist

When requesting an imaging examination what information should a clinician provide for a radiologist? 

By communicating the following information, a clinician helps ensure that an imaging examination will be conducted and interpreted optimally for each patient.

• Provide pertinent or significant medical history and clinical information related to the examination: (a) key findings from history, physical examination, and laboratory tests that suggest the diagnoses in question; and (b) any surgical alteration of the anatomy to be examined with imaging.

• Explain the purpose of the examination, including possible diagnoses, potential complications from a recently performed procedure or an established diagnosis or finding to follow for change. A specific explanation of how the imaging findings may alter management decisions (i.e., follow-up vs. surgery) or confirm a notorious diagnostic dilemma is useful as the radiologist may not be aware of specific treatment algorithms.

• Never hesitate to visit with the radiologist and discuss the case. Effective dialogue and communication between clinician and radiologist leads to more accurate and diagnostic radiologic imaging.

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