You need a radiologist as much as a primary care provider. When you are sick, the doctor must do everything possible to arrive at the correct diagnosis. The initial diagnosis involves a physical exam, collecting information about patient history, and evaluating signs and symptoms. Sometimes, the initial diagnosis may not provide a conclusive diagnosis. In such a case, radiology services are essential to help healthcare providers make an informed medical decision.
Why Are Radiology Services Vital?
Radiology is vital for almost all healthcare sectors, including pediatrics, surgery, emergency medicine, cancer care, and infectious disease. Studies show that between 70% and 80% of diagnostic problems can be resolved through an ultrasound examination or a basic X-ray. In case these two procedures are not conclusive, the doctor may request other medical images, such as:
- MRI: Uses strong radio and magnetic field waves to create a detailed image of your internal organs. This painless and non-invasive scan is used to diagnose tumors, heart problems, breast cancer, and brain anomalies, among others.
- CT Scan: Takes X-ray images at different angles to create cross-sectional images of your soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones.
Radiology enables accurate diagnosis by allowing healthcare providers to see and analyze structures inside your body.
Typically, diagnostic images serve the following purposes:
- Screening for different sicknesses
- Diagnosing the cause of certain symptoms
- Monitoring your body's response to treatment
- Guiding certain procedures, such as inserting catheters
How Do You Choose Radiology Services?
Choosing radiology services can make a significant difference between a correct and incorrect diagnosis. Getting poor-quality images wastes a lot of time and money, as you have to reschedule appointments for repeat imaging. In some cases, the wrong diagnosis can even cost you your life.
When choosing radiology services, it's advisable to consider these four factors:
- Equipment: You should choose an imaging center that uses high-quality equipment.
- Turnaround Time: Some medical conditions are life-threatening, and you need a radiologist who guarantees instant results.
- Scheduling Flexibility: If you have a busy schedule, you may not have time to go for an X-ray or MRI during the day or weekday. Thus, you need a radiology facility that operates even on weekends and at night.
- Training, Experience, and Certification: You should take time to establish if the radiologist and other staff working in the facility are certified and licensed to practice. If possible, you should look for someone who has extra training in a specialized area.
Your primary care physician may refer you to a radiologist to help guide a treatment decision or confirm a diagnosis. Thus, it would be best if you took the time to find radiology services that match your health needs and expectations. In other words, you should find a radiologist who makes you confident in the test results.