ARRS 2022 Abstracts


1347. Designing Pre-Exam Patient Educational Instructions for Pelvic Ultrasounds at a Large Academic Medical Center
Authors * Denotes Presenting Author
  1. Gregory Mittl *; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  2. Michael Shriver; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  3. Charlie Chambers; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  4. Darco Lalevic; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  5. Tessa Cook; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
In anticipation of future radiology examinations, patients often have numerous questions regarding exam preparation, facility amenities, and procedural steps. Unfortunately, currently available preparatory materials are poorly optimized for patient literacy, even on patient-centered websites. This paucity of patient-centered preparatory materials contributes to poorer quality exams, higher patient anxiety, greater technologist burden, and increased cancellation/no-show rates. In particular, at our large academic institution, we have found these inadequacies particularly prominent with regard to patient preparation and anxiety levels prior to pelvic ultrasound examinations. We aimed to create patient-centered educational material to improve patient-satisfaction and exam preparation for pelvic ultrasound examinations.

Materials and Methods:
We designed four different exam-specific, patient-centered pre-examination instructions; specifically, long and short text forms, with and without educational images. Using a patient notification system developed by our healthcare system, notifications were sent to patients via email and/or text message two weeks before and the day prior to scheduled pelvic ultrasound examinations. We analyzed patient interaction with the notifications and their impact on patient satisfaction, as determined by a survey accessible from the notification.

Overall, patient instructions were delivered to 432 individual patients; 210 (48.6%) patients interacted with the notification, with 148 (70.4%) patients interacting with the notification more than one time (range 1-11 interactions). Of the 210 patients who interacted with the notification, 25 survey responses were received (11.9% survey response rate, 92% female respondents, 56% with at least a bachelor’s degree, average age 50 years old). The responses did not vary significantly between instruction types, noting a limited sample size, and were overwhelming positive in favor of the instructions provided, with 82.3% of respondents who strongly agreed that the pre-exam information was valuable, 94.1% strongly agreed the information was easy to understand, 88.2% strongly agreed the information was easy to access, and 100% strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that the information prepared them well for their exam. Of those that received the image-enriched information, 25% strongly agreed that the images improved their understanding.

Exam-specific patient-centered notifications were welcomed by patients undergoing pelvic ultrasound examinations in our study cohort and greatly enhanced self-reported levels of perceived exam preparation. The enthusiasm for the notifications suggests that similar exam-specific educational materials, if created for additional exam types, would be beneficial to patient preparation and likely alleviate anxiety related to upcoming radiologic examinations.