Nina Vincoff, MD, Co-Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Patient- and Family-Centered Care Commission Patient Engagement Committee and Chair of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® Patient Engagement Subcommittee, contributed this piece.

Only a decade ago, the phrase “patient- and family-centered care” might have been foreign to practicing radiologists. But in recent years, thanks to efforts, such as ACR Imaging 3.0 and the ACR Commission for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (CPFCC), radiology departments have increased their focus on the patient experience. We now recognize that when we incorporate patients’ perspectives and expectations into their care, we not only improve their experience, but also healthcare quality and outcomes.

Providing truly patient-centered care demands more than just listening to patients. It requires providing the resources and opportunities for patients to actively partner in their care. A recent initiative by the ACR CPFCC Patient Engagement Committee involves the creation of animated videos about imaging tests, intended to educate patients and help them participate in decision making with their physicians. So far, there are over a dozen animations in development, and the first two were released in October to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The videos are available for viewing and sharing on the JACR® YouTube page.

Each animated video is approximately one minute in length — consistent with the way many people seek information today, and short enough to be posted on a variety of social media platforms. The videos contain content based on the Patient Friendly Summaries of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, ensuring that all the information is evidence-based and written in lay language. Links to the relevant Patient-Friendly Summary and the full Appropriateness Criteria document can be found in the YouTube comments for each video.

The Appropriateness Criteria (AC) Patient-Friendly Summaries are written by layperson authors, working together with radiologist technical authors. Nearly 100 patient-friendly summaries have been published by JACR and are available via The summaries are also available on, a website for patients and co-sponsored by the ACR and the Radiological Society of North America. The goal for the current animated video project is twofold: to create short educational content that stands alone, and to direct patients seeking more information to the AC Patient Friendly Summaries. Over the coming year, animations will be released strategically during awareness months and times when patients might be seeking medical information.

Keep an eye out for new videos and consider sharing this great new resource with your referring providers and patients. The next two videos are planned in November to coincide with Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

I would like to acknowledge the Patient Engagement Committee members, my Co-Chair, Linda Sample, and the ACR staff who made this project possible.

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