The European Society of Radiology (ESR) Patient Advisory Group addresses the issue of communication among radiologists, radiographers and their patients. Initiated in 2013, the group represents many patient groups, working together with the ESR to raise awareness of medical imaging amongst patients, improve patient knowledge about imaging procedures, liaise on policy issues of common interest, involve patient representatives in strategic decisions regarding medical imaging and ensure that a patient-centred, “human” approach is embedded in the structure of the ESR. The ESR strongly believes that close collaboration with patient organisations is beneficial for both stakeholders, helping radiologists to understand patients’ needs, to adapt their practice accordingly and to improve their communication skills. These factors are important to help radiologists find acknowledgement as clinicians and overcome the specialty’s poor visibility. Close collaboration with professionals will allow patients to obtain a better understanding of the work of everyone involved in a radiological department, of the advantages and limitations of imaging, and what to expect from a radiological examination or an imaging-guided interventional procedure. Thus, this collaborative effort is not simply limited to improving patient satisfaction; the ultimate goal is to enhance the faith and trust that patients place in the medical imaging profession and all the radiology professionals involved.
• Good communication between patient and doctor is important for proper patient care.
• The ESR Patient Advisory Group specifically addresses this communication issue.
• The activities aim at developing a reciprocal relationship between radiologists/radiographers and patients.
• Both radiologists/radiographers and patients need to be “educated” to improve communication.