Project Summary

Background: Medical radiation, used in diagnostic procedures such as X-rays, CT scans and mammography, plays a vital role in the prompt and accurate diagnosis and management of various medical conditions. It is likewise used in cancer treatment. However, medical radiation involves some potential health risks as well. While extensive efforts have been devoted to minimize this risk, there remains a significant gap in understanding the most effective methods of communicating it to best inform patients and support agency in their care.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: Driven by a patient-centric vision, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) aims to fill this critical research gap by capturing patient and provider perspectives on radiation risk and identifying opportunities for future patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). This initiative reflects a commitment to ensuring that patients are informed partners in their care, ultimately contributing to better healthcare outcomes for all involved.

Objectives: The project aims to inform future patient-centered CER by expanding the conversation on radiation risk and recognizing the significance of patient perspectives in medical radiation care and communication. This project seeks to drive transformative improvements in patient-clinician communication through direct engagement with patients, their parents, and other stakeholders.

Activities:

  1. Surveys and listening sessions to gain insights into patient perspectives.

  2. Identifying communication gaps, needs and priorities with clinicians and patients.

  3. Creating a prioritized list of future communication and dissemination patient-centered CER questions through the analysis of collected data

Project Outcomes and Outputs:

Short-term outcomes during the project period include:

  1. The creation of a stakeholder map, usable by others in the field of radiation safety, patient safety and related fields.

  2. Data from a patient and other stakeholder survey and listening sessions that outline the primary stakeholder-specific communication needs and wants for future patient-centered CER.

  3. A final project report synthesizing and summarizing all that has been learned and what the priorities should be for future research.

Medium-term outcomes (0-2 years post-project period) are to use project findings to best design patient-centered CER on medical radiation.

Long-term outcomes (3+ years post-project period) are better informed patient/provider decision making about radiation benefit/risk, brought about by dedicated Communication and Dissemination patient-centered CER. This in turn provides the ultimate benefit of improved outcomes for patients and families.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The project team and Advisory Committee bring a wealth of diverse patient, clinician, scientist and other perspectives and this array of skillsets will be integrated throughout the project activities. The project also involves active engagement with patients and clinicians through a multitude of listening sessions and surveys over a two-year period. The plan seeks to drive transformative improvements in patient-clinician communication, a crucial and pressing need in health care.

Project Collaborators: The project is led by the AAPM in collaboration with engagement and communication experts, Patients for Patient Safety US, Circle of Care, American College of Radiology, medical professionals and policy experts. These organizations and stakeholders bring their expertise, reach and commitment to the success of the project. Together, the collaborative efforts of these stakeholders will drive positive change in patient-clinician communication and decision-making processes, benefiting the healthcare community as a whole.

Project Information

Ehsan Samei, Ph.D.
David Gammel, M.A.
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
$249,990

Key Dates

October 2025
2023

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Last updated: April 3, 2024