American College of Radiology (ACR) Recommendations
Important Questions To Ask About the Quality of Your Imaging Examination
Q. Will a board-certified radiologist interpret my examination? YES!
A. The American College of Radiology (ACR) recommends that properly qualified physicians interpret all imaging examinations. A radiologist who is certified by the American Board of Radiology will clearly meet this recommendation. In its practice guidelines, the ACR defines alternative pathways for physician qualification.
Q. Is the Radiologist Onsite at the time of your exam?
Q. Is the imaging facility formally accredited to perform my examination? YES!
A. The ACR has a comprehensive program of facility accreditation for radiation oncology, MRI, CT, nuclear medicine and PET, ultrasound, general radiography, mammography and breast ultrasound. Equipment and personnel must meet specific qualifications, and a high level of image quality is required for this accreditation. Other accrediting bodies exist and may also be acceptable, provided their criteria are at least as rigorous as those of the ACR.
Q. How soon can my examination be done?
A. The timing of your imaging examination should depend, primarily, on the urgency of your medical condition. For less urgent conditions, a high-quality imaging facility should be able to perform your examination within a reasonable period of time. Unfortunately, due to the high demand for screening mammography, the wait for these examinations can be up to six months. At DCA we have immediate availability!
Q. Will there be someone there to explain the examination to me? YES!
A. A high-quality imaging facility should have someone available who will give you a brief explanation of your examination and be able to answer any questions you may have.
Q. How soon will my doctor know the results of my examination?
A. A high-quality imaging facility, such as DCA, ensures that the report to your doctor is dictated as quickly as possible. Usually within 24 hours of your examination. Depending on the urgency of your examination, your doctor should receive the results either immediately or within a few days.
Q. If I'm getting an injection, does the facility have a formal emergency response plan? YES!
A. Intravenous injections, which are used to enhance the detail of some imaging examinations, carry a very small risk of serious reaction. It is important to know if your imaging facility has a formal emergency response plan in place, in case of a reaction.
Q. Is the imaging equipment checked yearly by a qualified medical physicist? YES!
A. Radiation exposure and equipment performance are two important aspects of patient safety in imaging examinations. Only through a thorough annual equipment examination by a qualified medical physicist can proper safety be ensured.
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