As we all learn to adjust to our new normal, it’s more important than ever to refocus on our long-term health and well-being. Even though we’ve all been laser-focused on preventing the spread of illness, other health concerns still need our care and attention.
If you postponed your imaging appointment due to stay-at-home orders, now is the time to schedule it again. Now that we’re reopening our facilities with extra safety measures in place, it’s the perfect time to schedule an appointment to get your imaging procedure.
Having a computed-tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is a simple procedure. But as a medically diagnostic tool, it involves many complex processes from start to finish. To help you get the most of your appointment, here are five things to think about before your appointment.
1. We Want to Assure You It’s Safe to Go to Your Appointment
We’re taking extra measures to protect you and keep you safe in all of our facilities, including:
- Checking everyone’s temperatures at all facility entry points
- Practicing social distancing
- Providing shielded reception areas
- Redesigning our waiting rooms to keep people 6 feet apart
- Requiring face masks for all patients and employees
Likewise, all of our equipment has been thoroughly sanitized for your extra safety and peace of mind.
2. We Take Radiation Concerns Seriously
As of May 2020, our team no longer practices lead shielding for patients.
Multiple national studies have shown that lead shielding has no or little benefit in reducing radiation exposure to patients. This is largely due to significant technological advances in equipment, which have greatly reduced the radiation dose required to obtain images. Shielding could result in increased radiation exposure due to the shield obscuring important structures within a patient, thereby leading to the need for repeat images.
The radiologists and physicists at AdventHealth have reviewed the literature as well as the guidelines provided by multiple medical and scientific societies, including the American College of Radiology, the Imaging Gently Alliance, the Image Wisely initiative and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM Cares). We are in agreement with the recommendations, and no longer use shielding in order to provide the safest exam possible.
Before your scan, tell 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.
Your surgical or ear loop mask may have a metal strip in it, and the MRI team will remove it so that you can safely have your exam with your mask in place.
In addition to your mask, jewelry and wallets are more obvious things for technologists to catch, but medical implants, devices or parts within your body can’t be detected by the eye. If you tell your imaging technologist about any questionable metal objects in your body, they can take extra steps by contacting the radiologist to give the OK, if necessary.
3. We Want Your Imaging Appointment to Be Convenient
We know life is hectic. Especially now. Finding time to have a diagnostic test might feel overwhelming. Since we understand you’re busy — and that it's hard to get to multiple appointments — we’ve created a network of care that strives to make diagnostic imaging more accessible than ever. With diagnostic imaging services across your community, we’ve worked to deliver the convenience you need.
4. We Want You to Get Accurate Results, Fast
Waiting is hard, especially when you’re in pain or need advanced care. That’s why we work hard to get your results reviewed and to your physician quickly.
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. However, it’s a very important process behind the scenes.
After your scan or test, images are electronically sent to our radiologists through a very sophisticated, picture-archiving and communication system (PACS). Once the radiologists read it, the results are transcribed and sent to your physician. This usually happens within 24 to 48 hours, depending on the complexity of the images. Your doctor will then follow up with you about the results.
From start to finish, your care team works very hard to deliver your imaging results as fast and efficiently as possible.
5. We Want Your Care to Feel Connected
Our connected network of care means you won't have to deal with a lost referral or your imaging results not getting back to your care provider. 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 before, during and after your care, and all avenues are connected between the services and medical teams you need from start to finish.
For more information on our added safety measures and state-of-the-art technology, or to schedule an appointment, visit AHImagingEastFL.com.