Patient Awareness Drives CT Scan Needs

Patient Awareness Drives CT Scan Needs | Catalina Imaging

Patient Awareness of Different Imaging Test Options 

Over the recent years, around 75 million CT scans have been performed annually in the US, a number that is expected to continue to reach 84 million by 2022, according to iData Research. 


Patient awareness is one of the key drivers of the growing number of CT scan procedures and other non-invasive medical imaging technologies. This is particularly true for individuals with a strong [family] history of cancer and other debilitating diseases who can benefit from early detection and diagnosis, which in turn increases the success rate of their treatments. 


However, doctors would not perform CT scans and other medical procedures without a substantial medical benefit or if these are not medically indicated. 


Patients should bear in mind that the physicians’ job is not only to diagnose a disease and perform treatments but also to determine whether a test is medically warranted in the first place. 


CT Provider: What Patients Look For 

With the advent of the Internet, today’s patients are more aware of their options when it comes to healthcare and treatment. Furthermore, they demand a patient-centric experience that includes non-invasive procedures that provide quick and accurate results. 


Patients are also aware of the radiation risk that comes with CT scans, prompting them to choose providers that adjust the settings of their scanners based on their body size and age. For children, it is particularly important to limit their radiation exposure because of their small frame and increased sensitivity to radiation. 


Modern CT scanners can provide optimal image quality even at lower radiation levels, says leading mobile CT provider Catalina Imaging


To further promote high patient satisfaction, Catalina Imaging encourages good communications between patients and their healthcare providers, adding that patient experience also plays a significant role in adherence to treatment and its effectiveness and outcomes. 


GE Healthcare also echoes Catalina Imaging’s stance on empowering patients and improving communications to provide them with a better experience. 


On its website, GE Healthcare states that technologists should perform these guidelines to improve patient experience: 

  • Acknowledge the patients and introduce themselves before the procedure. 
  • Describe the procedure and how long it takes. 
  • Provide patients opportunities to ask questions. 
  • Express genuine concern and empathy toward their patients. 
  • Acknowledge patient fear and anxieties. 
  • Communicate to the patients that they can be reached during a procedure. 


Better Imaging Technology

Today’s CT scanners can scan through large areas of the body in just a few seconds, even with lower levels of radiation and contrast dye. Such speed has been tied to improved patient experience, according to several surveys. 


Another notable advancement in medical imaging procedures is the use of mobile CT scanners, which are housed within a trailer that allows them to move from one medical facility to the next.


Mobile CT scanners have made quality healthcare more accessible to patients in rural areas who were initially forced to travel long distances to go to city hospitals. 


Catalina Imaging: The Leading Mobile CT Scanner Provider 

Catalina Imaging has been at the forefront of the campaign for a better patient experience during medical imaging procedures. Through their nationwide fleet of mobile CT scanners, they have been helping healthcare facilities make medical imaging tests more accessible to residents near them. 


Their service and storage locations are in Loomis CA, Upland CA, Forest Lake MN, Mokena IL, and Statesville NC


For more information, you can call them at (844) 949-1664 or send an email at info@catalinaimaging.

CT Scan for Children: What Parents Should Know

CT Scan for Children: What Parents Should Know | Catalina Imaging

What Is a CT Scan for Children?

A pediatric CT scan is a diagnostic medical imaging procedure that creates three-dimensional images of internal organs, soft tissues, blood vessels, and bones. Compared to the traditional x-ray, it provides a more detailed image that allows medical professionals to diagnose an illness or an injury more accurately. 


Most CT scans take a few seconds, although sometimes the procedure can take more than 10 minutes. 


The medical imaging test uses a large machine that resembles a giant donut with a sliding bed inside where the patient lies still during the procedure. 


The machine emits low-dose radiation that passes through the body and gets picked up by electronic detectors located on the opposite side of the frame to create detailed images. Then, a dedicated computer assembles the “slices” of pictures to come up with three-dimensional images that can show internal injury, tumor, or any abnormality. 


Common Reasons Why Doctors Recommend Pediatric CT Scans

CT scans can help medical professionals diagnose a wide range of health conditions and injuries. In children, these are often performed to identify the causes of severe abdominal pain and evaluate the extent of the injury. 


The medical imaging test is also commonly used to diagnose cancer and monitor patients’ response to treatments. 


Because of the highly detailed images, CT scans are commonly used to evaluate the heart and blood vessels of children and even babies. 


These are the other reasons why doctors recommend pediatric CT scans: 

  • Tumor 
  • Pneumonia and other complications from infections
  • Birth defects
  • Appendicitis
  • Inflammatory diseases 
  • Trauma 
  • trauma to blood vessels or lung
  • Stores in the urinary tract 
  • Seizure and other neurological diseases 
  • Hearing loss
  • Bone-related injuries and defects


In emergencies, CT scan is the go-to medical imaging test since it can quickly detect internal injuries and bleeding, allowing ER doctors to perform life-saving treatments. 


Related article: Managing Claustrophobia and Anxiety During Your CT Scan


Preparing Your Child for a CT Scan 

Each patient will receive a specific set of instructions before undergoing CT scans; hence, you should always ask your doctor for detailed recommendations. 


Meanwhile, the guidelines mentioned below are “general rules” for most, but not all, patients. 

  • Your child may be asked to avoid drinking or eating a few hours before the exam; this is a common requirement for patients who will receive anesthesia or sedatives. 
  • Inform your child’s doctor about his previous tests (including CT scans), allergies, medical condition, and health-related history. 
  • Your child should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing (without zippers, metal snaps, and belt buckles) during CT scans. 
  • Before the exam, your child should remove metal objects like eyeglasses, jewelry, retainers, hearing aid, etc. 


Important note: Depending on your child’s age and the area that needs to be scanned, anesthesia may be necessary. In many cases, young children who need to be entirely motionless for a prolonged period may need sedation to ensure high-quality images. 


How to Minimize Radiation Risk

While x-rays and CT scans use very low levels of radiation, it remains ideal to avoid unnecessary exposure. Simply put, these imaging procedures should be only reserved for patients who need them. 


If your child needs a CT scan, you may want to go to children’s hospitals where technicians routinely adjust their machines to compensate for a child’s smaller size. By contrast, general hospitals don’t always change the settings of their scanners. 


In addition, you should tell your doctor if your child has had previous tests, including CT scans. In most cases, repeated CT scans should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. 


Who Interprets the Results? 

Radiologists are medical doctors who can interpret the CT scan results of your child. They will send an official report to your kid’s primary physician. 


CT Scan for Children: What Parents Should Know












For more information about CT scans for children, contact Catalina Imaging at (844) 949-1664. They are the leading mobile CT scanners that can help hospitals and other medical facilities provide high-quality healthcare.