When you and your doctor decide that an imaging examination is appropriate for you, you’ll want the examination to be performed in a high-quality and safe facility. Here are some questions that the American College of Radiology (ACR) suggests that you ask:
Will a board-certified radiologist interpret my examination? The ACR recommends that examinations be interpreted by properly qualified physicians, such as a radiologist who is certified by the American Board of Radiology. Alternatives for physician qualification are defined on the ACR website at www.acr.org.
Is the imaging facility formally accredited to perform my examination? The ACR, and other accrediting bodies, have comprehensive accreditation programs. Equipment and personnel must meet specific qualification, and a high level of image quality is required for this accreditation. A list of ACR accredited facilities is available at www.acr.org.
Is the imaging equipment checked yearly by a qualified medical physicist? 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 assured.
If I’m getting an injection, does the facility have a formal emergency response plan? Intravenous injections, which are used to enhance the detail of some imaging examinations, carry a 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.
Will there be someone there to explain the examination to me? The facility should have someone available who will give you a brief explanation of your examination and answer any questions you may have.
How soon will my doctor know the results of my examination? Depending on the urgency of your examination, your doctor should receive the results either immediately or within a few days.