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Enhancing communication between foundation doctors and radiologists: a quality improvement project
  1. Yu-Hsiang Chuang1,
  2. Victor Jones1,
  3. Matthew Trail1,
  4. Magdalena Szewczyk-Bieda2,
  5. Ghulam Mustafa Nandwani1
  1. 1 Department of Urology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK
  2. 2 Department of Radiology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Yu-Hsiang Chuang, Department of Urology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK; yuhsiang.chuang{at}


Facilitating radiological imaging for patients is an essential task for foundation year (FY) doctors. Achieving competence in this task can significantly enhance patient management. We evaluated the confidence and skills of FY doctors in facilitating radiological imaging before and after introduction of formal training. Twenty surgical FYs working at a large teaching hospital were surveyed to evaluate their baseline level of competence in booking and discussing imaging with radiology colleagues. Parameters were measured on a Likert scale, including confidence in discussing requests and satisfaction of their own performance following discussions with radiologists. Eight radiology consultants were surveyed to evaluate their opinions on FYs’ communication and established areas for improvement. A teaching session was then delivered to improve communication skills. Furthermore, Previous investigation results, Answer you need from the scan, Clinical status and story, Crucial: how urgent is the scan, Safety (PACCSS) poster was introduced to remind the FYs of the salient information required when discussing imaging. One month after the intervention, the initial participants were resurveyed. Based on a 10-point Likert scale, the FYs demonstrated a mean improvement in self-reported confidence (2.1±1.1, p<0.01), and in satisfaction of own performance after a discussion (1.7±1.1, p<0.01). We identified deficiencies in surgical FY doctors’ confidence and skills in facilitating radiological imaging. There was a demonstrable benefit with focused training in improving these skills. This could potentially provide significant benefits in patient care and management. Interspecialty communication should be introduced into undergraduate and postgraduate educational curriculum.

  • medical education & training
  • surgery
  • radiology & imaging
  • quality in health care

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  • Contributors Y-HC and VJ collected data and drafted the manuscript. Y-HC and VJ cowrote and share joint first authorship over the paper. GMN did statistical analysis. MT and GNM critically reviewed and edited the manuscript. MS-B coordinated the radiologists’ feedbacks and reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.