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Old 08-30-2010, 04:59 PM
Location: state of procrastination
3,487 posts, read 6,536,136 times
Reputation: 2891


Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Not true everywhere. I was also one of the patients who took a disk home with the full report, plus a brief summary told to me by the radiologist.

It USED to be longer but more facilities are modernizing, which is a good thing!
Yes, turnaround can be very fast.

I'm just talking about worst case scenario being 1-2 working days. For example if it was a routine (not STAT) outpatient scan, in a very busy academic tertiary care center in which radiologists almost never see the actual patient, and the study somehow got pushed to the end of the worklist, and residents do the first read followed by the "final" read by a real radiologist... then you would at the very worst see it the following day. Obviously if it was a STAT study or if the physician calls the radiologist about it (even if it is on a useless, non-diagnostic, non-urgent study ordered without a good indication other than to waste taxpayer money), the turnaround time would be much faster.

If you are at the VA and somehow the study got lost, it could be a week before somebody figures it out. But most of the time people aim for same day reads.

If you had a diagnostic breast MR you would be very likely to get the results same day, probably even before you leave the office. If you ask the technologist for a CD of images and results you will receive - nobody will deny you.

Some places i.e. some county hospitals are still not using computerized dictation systems. If a non-STAT study was read on Friday afternoon and the transcriptionist gets to it the following day after all the other STAT studies were transcribed, the ordering physician could see the report on Monday afternoon. If the ordering MD forgets about it over the weekend (and it happens), you might wait until next time you see them in clinic.

Which is why it is always a good idea to call and find out if you have not heard from them in 2 business days.

Lisa, have your brother call the ordering physician's office. They can tell you how long you need to wait if it isn't done already. I honestly don't know about Canada but that seems like a god-awful long time. If they told you 2 weeks I guess that is what you have to deal with.

BTW, certain serious conditions (including cancer) are NOT considered emergent findings. Things that you'd expect them to report immediately are the ones where loss of life, limb, organ function, or brain function would result if delayed. I know of a case where the physician didn't notify somebody of cancer recurrence until after christmas so as not to ruin their holiday season.

Last edited by miyu; 08-30-2010 at 06:01 PM..
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:49 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,819,294 times
Reputation: 6704
I only have my experience to go from:

On October 8th, 2010 I had my first seizure out of nowhere, a very bad one (tonic-clonic or "grand mal"). I was rushed from campus - where I had the seizure - to the hospital in an ambulance. I was discharged that same day with orders for an MRI on the morning October 10th and an EEG study October 13th.

On October 10th, 2010, I showed up for the MRI, had it administered, and waited about an hour before hearing the results (!) They said I had a large mass which appeared to be a brain tumor. They ordered me Decadron and Dilantin and I picked it up within about 10 minutes, and gave me an envelope with the radiologist's report, a CD-R with scans, etc. and told me to either go to Minneapolis or Rochester immediately.

We went down to Minneapolis, where a room was waiting for me. They kept me there about two days - on the initial night there I had another seizure. My diagnosis: probably glioma. A biopsy / resection was scheduled for October 20th.

On October 20th, we again drove down to Minneapolis, and I had my operation. I was kept there until the 23rd, when I was sent back home. Appointments were made for physical, occupational, and speech therapy, which began around November 5th or so.


Now I am on chemotherapy and go to Minneapolis every two months or so for an MRI and neuro-oncologist's appointment. In the four hours between the MRI and consultation, a radiologist usually interprets the images.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:39 PM
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,819,294 times
Reputation: 6704
Woah...should have been 2009, not 2010 for the years!
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:28 AM
10,452 posts, read 10,969,606 times
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I have a feeling it has to do with the level of urgency. When I went to the E.R. for a sudden decrease in vision loss, I had my MRI results and a summary in hand before leaving.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:44 AM
Location: Durham UK
2,031 posts, read 4,848,648 times
Reputation: 1136
Originally Posted by bluedevilz View Post
The joys of socialized medicine.....
That doesn't cost an arm and a leg, is available to all and does provide care for chronic debilitating conditions.

If there was something seriously wrong then the report would go out much sooner, plus the physician who ordered the MRI has access to look at the images, and usually can spot something serious.
Only the official report has to come from a radiologist.
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