You can’t improve on ‘No change’—so stop trying, radiologist

When preparing comparison studies, reporting “no change”—not “no interval change,” not “stable,” not some other variation on the theme—is the best, clearest and most consistent way for radiologists to communicate an absence of change to referring physicians and, increasingly, patients.

So says Jenny Hoang, MBBS, an associate professor of radiology and radiation oncology at the Duke University School of Medicine. She lays out a succinct, 350-word case to back her opinion in a piece published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

“For example, a patient who accesses her radiology reports through online health portals will be confused if measurements of her thyroid nodule have increased, but the impression of the report states ‘no significant change,’” writes Hoang. “This will lead to questions fielded by the referring physician, or the patient will turn to the Internet and ask for advice online from ‘experts’ with dubious qualifications.”

Read the whole thing.