I welcome disagreements, such as a response to my September 9th post on how clinicians can help minimize patients' scanxiety. A reader posted, "The pollyanna spin/advice on this may help some. For me, I'd just roll my eyes and say, 'You're kidding. Right?'"
Kidzandliz explained, "What works for me is fast knowledge of results. This is anxiety about the unknown. The best cure for that is speed in being given the results, thus making the unknown the known."
For my complete response, check out the post. As I told the commenter, "I couldn't agree with you more: By far, the most effective step to minimizing patients' scanxiety is minimizing their wait time. To me, that's a given."
Here's the problem I was addressing: "the fact that there is necessarily a delay between undergoing the test and getting the results." I touched on a few reasons for that fact, including that it takes time for:
- radiologists to compare current scans to prior ones and properly interpret them
- transcribers to input results and transmit to the doctors' offices
- oncologists to review the results in the context of the patient's case, possibly review the scans personally with the radiologist, and possibly discuss the findings with other doctors
Those reasons do not account for long delays, however. In my next post I'll discuss two issues that are the chief rate-limiting factors in many cases of patients' prolonged waits for test results.