Health literacy. We have a lot of science and a lot of information, and we can talk all about prevention and medications, but if people don't understand what health pros are trying to do, all is for naught. And it's not just the people we serve, but also on the part of health professionals.
Health professionals often talk "doctorese." Sometimes people don't fully understand what we are trying to advise them to do. I don't want to demonize doctors. We are all trying to do the right thing. What we...
Arrive at radiology a minimum of a half-hour early for your orthopaedics appointment.
Wait to be called in for X-rays.
Go back to waiting room and wait for films.
If films need to be re-taken, repeat steps 2-8
Pick up films.
Schlep heavy, awkward films back to your doctor's office.
Today patients don't wait for their X-ray films. In fact, there aren't any films to wait for.
"It's similar to a digital camera," explains Giles Boland, MD, director of teleradiology at Massachusetts General and associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
"The light is put on a light-sensitive plate and the image is recorded digitally. The advantage of that, aside from saving money on the film and processing is that you can tweak the contrast levels like you can with a digital camera, so that if you don't get a good exposure you can make it into a good exposure."
The hospital uses a picture-archiving and communications system that allows digital storage and display not just of X-rays, but also of CT scans, MRI images, and ultrasound pictures, all of which can be digitally enhanced -- magnified, brightened, or with contrast added -- or manipulated to improve their usefulness. Orthopaedic surgeons, for example, can turn CT images into 3-D pictures that can be visually rotated to show how all the bones fit together.
"Certainly it has enhanced the ability of radiologists to make an accurate diagnosis; there's no question about that," Boland tells WebMD.
Because it's digital, the system also allows doctors in another building, city, or even another country to can call up images on computers in their office or examining room for ready reference or consultation. "You can be in the operating room, you can be on the floor in the patient's room, you could be doing a biopsy and you can see these images anywhere, he says.