6 Tips for Your Imaging Appointment from a Radiology Expert

A woman prepares for an MRI.
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Having a CT or MRI might seem like a pretty simple thing. And most of the time, it is. But as a medically diagnostic tool, it involves many complex processes from start to finish. As a patient, you often don't see the things that occur behind the scenes. Here are just a few examples of steps in the process:

  • The scheduler coordinating your referring physician's order
  • The technologist reading the order and preparing the scan
  • The facility checking the technology to ensure functionality and safety
  • The coordination with radiologists who will receive and read your images
  • The technology program that will send the radiologist's report to your doctor

Even though you don't play a direct part in many of these pieces, you still play an important role in achieving the best imaging experience possible. Being aware of the various aspects of your imaging test and facility is an important part of this.

Here are six facts that will help you prepare for your next appointment.

1. We work hard to ensure that your diagnostic tests or scans are safe.

Play close attention to any instructions from your physician and technologist they are there to ensure your safety.

If you are having an MRI, telling your physician and technologist if you have anything that could be metal in or on your body. For safety, metal must be kept away from the MRI machine. Jewelry and wallets are more obvious things for technologists to catch, but medical implants, devices or parts within your body cant be detected by the eye. If you tell your imaging technologist about any questionable metal objects in your body, they can take additional steps by contacting the radiologist to give the OK, if necessary.

2. We take radiation seriously.

We understand that some people are hesitant to get their imaging tests done because of exposure to radiation, and we want you to know that we heed the same warning and take radiation very seriously.

AdventHealth's advanced technology uses the lowest radiation doses possible, following the ALARA guidelines (as low as reasonably achievable). In addition, AdventHealth's dedicated radiation physics team utilizes dose monitoring software on its imaging technology to keep track of cumulative doses of radiation that every patient gets across our system. Analysts give detailed reports and even alerts if doses are ever above recommended levels so the team can investigate and correct it right away.

3. We want you to follow through with your ordered tests.

If your doctor ordered a diagnostic test, please follow through with making your appointment and having the imaging procedure. If you have any questions or concerns about it that are causing you to put it off, call your doctor or imaging facility to discuss it further.

In medicine, doctors make decisions about ordering a diagnostic test by doing a risk/benefit analysis. If your doctor ordered the test, they consider the benefit of the diagnostic test will allow them to make a better decision towards creating the most appropriate care plan for you.

4. We want you to have convenience.

We know your schedule is jam packed. You likely had to rush to get to your doctor appointment from work, and finding time to complete the diagnostic test they order might feel overwhelming. We understand that you are busy, and that it's hard to get to multiple appointments. That's why the AdventHealth network of care strives make diagnostic imaging more accessible.

We offer diagnostic imaging services all over the state our system has made it very easy to have tests done by creating a vast network of imaging locations in your community so they are convenient for you.

5. We want you to get accurate results, fast.

Getting your imaging test is only one piece of your treatment plan. Once your images are taken, you don't usually meet the radiologist, who is responsible for reading them and sending a report to your doctor. This is a very important process behind the scenes.

After your scan or test, images are electronically sent to our network of radiologists through a very sophisticated system called PACS (picture archiving and communication system). Once the radiologists read it, the results are transcribed and sent to your physician. On average, this process happens within 24 to 48 hours (depending on the complexity of the images). After this, your physician follows up with you about the results.

You care team works very hard to create a system that delivers imaging results as fast and efficiently as possible.

6. We want your care to feel connected.

We've all heard the "worst case scenario" stories about healthcare. The connected network of care at AdventHealth means you won't have to deal with a lost referral or your imaging results not getting back to your care provider. It also means that our imaging services are integrated into the entire AdventHealth network of all of our doctors, imaging centers, radiologists, labs, hospitals and specialists.

These experts and facilities are connected under one system pre-, during and post-care, and all avenues are connected between the services and medical teams you need from start to finish.

Learn more about our imaging services online.

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