There are more and more service providers who offer CT or MRI scans everywhere. Choosing the right one among them could be challenging. Different price ranges, medical terms, technical aspects; many of us have a hard time navigating among all this unfamiliar knowledge.
Now we’re here to help you: We compiled 9+1 features which are extremely important when choosing a diagnostic center.
1. The fee of the examination
A CT scan of the lungs costs 500 £ on average in the UK. While an MRI scan of the same area can cost you up to 1000 £ with an average of 650 £. Spending this much amount of money is surely something you have to think through lots of times.
But why spend anyways when you have different options? Other private healthcare providers outside the UK offer diagnostic scans for fifth of the price.
Why pay more for the exact same scan with the same (or even higher) quality when you have a choice?
2. The advancement of the diagnostic scanners
We all think of the diagnostic tools our doctor use when labeling a (diagnostic) center modern or outdated.
Indeed, modern equipment is truly crucial for a precise diagnosis. However careful your doctor is, without the right devices it’s nearly an impossible mission.
So how do you know what is considered up-to-date, modern?
The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique used in radiology. It’s powered by an incredibly strong magnet from within. This creates a magnetic field around the machine which allows doctors to create detailed pictures about the human body. The stronger the magnet is the more powerful the scanner will be. The magnetic power of the MRI machines used in Hungary vary between 0.5 and 1.5 Tesla. However for scientific or more complex purposes they sometimes use even powerful machines (up to 3 Tesla). In comparison an average fridge magnet is 0.01 Tesla. (Tesla is the unit to measure the strength of magnetic fields)
What’s also important is the size of the device. As both CT and MRI are closed bore machines where you lay inside of a tube for a long period (up to 1 hour) it’s important for you to feel comfortable.
An average advanced diagnostic scanner is unable to examine patients over 150 kg (330 pounds) or 60 cm (24 inches) waist width.
Fortunately there are a few diagnostic centers with greater device capacity.
3. Waiting period
It’s understandable if you don’t want to wait months or even weeks to complete a test in order to get a diagnosis and start your therapy, recovery. At most places however this is unescapable. The long waiting lists are to be blamed for delayed diagnosis, setback of the treatment.
For example in the UK the maximum times are 18 weeks for non-urgent referrals and 2 weeks for the urgent ones. But as we all know only the most important, life-threatening conditions will fall under the latter category.
It’s useful to have a look around and weigh up all the information available. Decide how important an early diagnosis is for you and for your symptoms.
You can turn to private healthcare providers if you want appointments quickly without standing in the line.
4. Patient information
Precautions and preparations are extremely important before such procedures. It’s crucial to measure the risks of a patient beforehand along with his/her state of health.
Make sure to always choose a clinic where you are given sufficient information prior the examination so you wouldn’t be in fear or doubt.
What is a contrast agent and why is it necessary? How long will the examination last? Will I feel any pain? Are there specific instructions I need to follow?
All these are legit and important questions which should be answered by your doctor.
It’s also essential to fill out a medical questionnaire (medical history form) so your physician can make a responsible decision regarding the safeness of your examination.
Always pay attention how precautious and attentive your medical team is at your chosen diagnostic clinic.
5. Softwares used by the scanner
Few (people) would guess the importance of the software which controls the diagnostic tool. Even though, the most modern instrument does only little when not having the correct operating system behind it. Two of the same MRI machine working with two different softwares has a different output as a result.
The software performs the procedure which is previously planned by the operator, then creates a 3D picture from it.
The modern diagnostic centers always use the latest softwares to enhance their performance
6. Qualifications of the operator
Operator is the person responsible for executing your examination and for all the preparation beforehand. While you are laying in the CT or MRI machine behind a glass wall the operator creates images of the required body part.
He’s also injecting you with the contrast agent when necessary or determine the amount of radiation you need for the examination.
Given these responsibilities it is no wonder that the expertise of the operator is the key of a good result. It’s highly important to choose a diagnostic center where operators have years of professional experience and dedicated time for you personally.
7. Time spent on the examination
Most of the walk-in clinics have a very short timeframe to examine the subjects and the patients are lined up. This results in a rushed examination along with an inaccurate diagnosis.
Wanting a better care, more attention to detail is a perfectly understandable request from you when paying for your examination.
Try to find a diagnostic center where there’s a significant time dedicated to you. This allows you to feel safe and comfortable and your doctor to do the job precisely.
Undergoing any diagnostic test which takes place inside a tube can be challenging as a claustrophobic. These machines operate with long, narrow tubes in which you lay motionless until the examination is done. Fortunately there are a few diagnostic centers now where they use tools with bigger, wider tubes and they are willing to pause the examination when the patient needs a break
8. Professionalism of the radiologist
Radiologist is the doctor who establishes the diagnosis based on the images your operator took.
It goes without saying that the expertise and professionalism of the specialist is a huge contributing factor to your diagnosis, treatment and well-being.
Before making a decision about choosing a diagnostic center try to ask around, get information about the radiologists working there. Always choose a healthcare provider where proficient, trusted doctors are working.
9. Time spent on the diagnostic report
This is the last step towards your diagnosis but also one of the most important. Most of us think that the minute we get out of the imaging machine the process is complete and we are good to go. After all the pictures are ready, our doctor just looks at them and tells us the results.
However little do we know about the work behind it. Making a diagnostic report can take up to 1.5 hour to the radiologist based on the severity of the case. It is crucial to have this kind of time at hand.
Your doctor analyses the pictures taken and if anything abnormal comes up they determine the type, size and location of the mutation/lesion.
We believe here at Medicover, that quality work is only achievable when appropriate amount of time is available. This is the reason that our specialists have dedicated time only to grade the images taken by the operators and create diagnostic reports. Unfortunately not all the diagnostic centers are capable to such thing due to overload.
+1 Tools used to establish medical diagnosis
Would you think that the display your doctor uses to look at your images is also important?
Well, they are. In fact, modern diagnostic centers work only with special monitors which are used solely for these purposes. These are ultra-high resolution displays with a black-and-white screen.
Unfortunately some healthcare providers use only regular monitors or laptops to analyze the results which sometimes leads to misdiagnosis.
We hope that these guidelines helped you clear the picture and you’ll be able to choose the perfect diagnostic center for your examination and possible further treatment.
Take a look at our facility and read patient’s reviews to make sure that you’ll be in good hands here, at Medicover Hospital!