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QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL IMAGING RESULTS

When your doctor requests medical imaging for you, it’s usually for one of two reasons:

  1. Diagnostic – These exams are performed when you have symptoms, to identify a cause, or if your doctor has discovered an abnormality. For example, a diagnostic head CT scan could be used to assess for a problem after a fall, or for indication of a stroke.
  2. Screening – These exams, on the other hand, help detect diseases before you have symptoms, while they can still be successfully treated. They are routinely done on a regular basis for people who are at average risk of disease and have no symptoms. For example, bone density scans or regular yearly or twice-per-year mammograms, which are the best way to catch breast cancer early, when it’s very small.

Whatever the purpose of your medical imaging exam, having the exam can cause anxiety and waiting to hear about your results can be difficult. Especially since the technologist performing the exam is not legally permitted to divulge any results directly to you, the patient.

The technologist is there to capture the best images possible. They will explain what happens during your exam and can discuss what they are scanning within the limits of what they can share. Should the technologist identify any immediate concerns, they will bring them to the attention of the radiologist – a medical doctor with many years of specialized education.

The radiologist will review the images and compare to previous imaging to see if there are any changes. Sometimes they may speak with you after your exam about your results. Usually, the radiologist will interpret the images and forward an accurate report of the findings and results of your study to your doctor.

WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?

If there are immediate concerns with the examination or your doctor has asked for an immediate or “stat” report, your results will be phoned or faxed to your referring physician within 24 hours.

For non-urgent results, they will be faxed to your doctor, or uploaded to a provincial picture archiving and communication system (PACS) – this technology provides electronic storage and convenient access to your medical images from multiple sources, such as your doctor, specialists, hospitals, and walk-in clinics. In Alberta, images are uploaded to Netcare, Alberta’s electronic health record system. Results are usually faxed or uploaded in a timely manner, often within two to five business days depending on the complexity of the exam and medical concern. For complex cases, the images may be sent to be thoroughly reviewed by two specialized radiologists who examine the area in question and contribute to the report, this may add to the report’s turnaround time.

The detailed report outlining your results is sent to your doctor to review because your doctor has the most comprehensive understanding of your medical concern. Medical imaging is often only a part of your complete medical assessment. Diagnosing your medical concern may involve blood work, other diagnostic tests, a physical exam, and your clinical history to help your doctor gain a comprehensive understanding of your complaint or condition and reach an accurate diagnosis. Therefore, they are in the best position to interpret your medical imaging results and determine the next steps in your health care treatment plan.

HOW WILL I FIND OUT THE RESULTS?

Once your doctor has received your medical imaging results, they will arrange an appointment with you to discuss them, along with the results of any other test you may have undergone, and determine next steps.

If you would like to receive copies of your images, you can request them prior to your exam when you are checking in. You will then receive a DVD or USB with your results, as well as viewing instructions, before you leave the clinic. You may also request copies of your images at any time after your exam.

If you would like to receive a copy of your medical imaging report, you will need to wait until that report is completed and sent to your doctor. You may then contact us and arrange to pick up your report, photo identification and your health care card will be required when picking up your images and report. Please note that your results will need to be discussed with your doctor. If your doctor needs to discuss your results with the radiologist who provided the report, she or he will need to contact us and we can connect him or her with the author of the report.

HOW TO CONTACT MAYFAIR DIAGNOSTICS?

Mayfair Diagnostics has 13 clinics offering a variety of services across Calgary, as well as one each in Cochrane, Regina, and Saskatoon. You can visit a clinic in person to book your appointment, or you can contact the Mayfair Diagnostics Customer Contact Centre via the following options:

For more information, please refer to our services page for a list of our services and the locations where they are offered.

 

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Mayfair Diagnostics

Calgary, Cochrane, Regina, Saskatoon

TOLL FREE: 1-866-611-2665

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