Here at Cincinnati Children’s, we are privileged to take part in the care of patients from all over the country and the world. To make sure we provide the best care possible, we have multiple methods to allow your child’s imaging studies to travel with them.
There are many reasons that these old studies can be helpful. One of the best ways we can reduce radiation is by not repeating studies unnecessarily. In many instances, our radiologists are able to provide a second opinion on studies performed at another hospital. This lets us better understand the issues affecting your child and allows members of your child’s care team plan the best course of action. This type of second-opinion interpretation done by a dedicated pediatric radiologist can find disagreement with the original study interpretation performed at adult centers. In fact, one study found that pediatric radiologists made additional findings or a different diagnosis that affected care in approximately 22% of studies. Even in instances where our radiologists are not providing a second opinion, having access to the old imaging studies is invaluable because it allows us to compare the new studies to the old ones; this can be essential in determining how effective treatments have been.
We have several methods in place to make it as easy as possible to import your child’s radiology studies. At the time our physicians become involved in the care of your child, they often request this information from other hospitals. This is done quickly online by a secure website, or can be accomplished in just a few clicks by a dedicated connection we have set up with some of our most frequent referral centers. We can also upload the images ourselves if you bring a disc to the hospital. This usually takes just a few minutes, after which we return the disc for you to keep with your own records. And we’re constantly working to make this process even simpler. We have recently worked with the Orthopedics Department to allow them to upload these images without having to send the actual disc to Radiology. Using these techniques, in the past year alone we have imported over 42,000 studies!
One thing to remember when you bring in these discs is to bring a copy of the original report as well. This allows us to include all of the information from the older study and lets our radiologists see how the images were originally interpreted. Unfortunately, this information is typically not included on the discs, so bringing a copy of the report is very helpful.
These same methods also allow us to send your child’s medical images to your hometown healthcare providers. By doing so, we hope to be able to remove gaps in care by letting your hometown medical center have the full picture.
Contributed by Dr. Neil U Lall and edited by Dr. Alex Towbin.
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