ACR publishing patient-friendly summaries of appropriateness criteria guidelines

The Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) is now providing patient-friendly summaries of American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria (AC), according to a new blog post on the JACR’s website. The goal is to help laypeople better understand appropriate medical imaging.

A total of 237 ACR ACs currently exist. They were all written by an expert panel of people from different medical specialties. Two patient-friendly AC summaries have been published so far—an example can be read here—and another six are complete and ready to be shared.

When the summaries are published, they are made available for free online. They are all approximately 250 words long.

Author Andrea Borondy Kitts, MS, MPH, of the JACR Editorial Board, explained the importance of these summaries in the blog post.

“The rationale behind the project was that helping patients understand appropriate imaging may help them better understand why their doctors don't order a test, to question the requirement for an expensive test, better understand test results and limitation, and to improve commitment to undergoing the imaging test,” she wrote. “The JACR staff enthusiastically helped define the process for drafting, review, and publication of the abstracts. We decided we would recruit layperson and patient advocate authors to draft the abstracts.”