Thursday, March 3, 2011

A CT Scan as an Opportunity to Get Personal

As those of you know who have been following these postings regularly, I have written frequently about issues related to medicine - from medical informatics to digital imaging. I am working on several projects in this arena and sucking up as much information as I can get. There will be more to come because recently I have been digging into issues related to electronic health records. Fascinating stuff - although reading congressional legislation as officially posted in the Federal Register and elsewhere takes stamina and many lattes.

Tomorrow I am going to conduct a little investigation / experiment because an opportunity fell into my lap. This experiment relates to digital imaging and medical records.

I am going to have a CT scan. Nothing serious (unless they find a screw loose in my head) but they will be injecting me with dye to get a better view of my head - the object of interest. Not one to miss out on an opportunity, I am going to do several things:

I am going to see how much I can talk to the radiology techs about their equipment. Let's hope I get a happy chatty tech.

I am going to see if I can convince them (perhaps by tossing around well placed vocabulary they would not expect your typical patient to have) to let me in on some of their experiences with the imaging and storage systems.

I am going to try and get them to let me look at my scan, although I know from experience that they will clam up completely if I ask any questions about what I'm looking at. Nonetheless I will see how far I can get.

Finally, I am going to ask at the front desk what the procedure is for obtaining a digital copy of my scan. I know that legally my records are mine to ask for. I also know from a few experiences in the past that for some reason it can be very hard to get records. One gets run around in circles and stalled in all sorts of ways. In case any of my current medical personnel are reading this, I rush to note that these previous experiences were at a different medical facility in a different state.

Stay tuned. This could be interesting


  1. Hey lisa, I wish you the best of the luck with the scan. I've been through that kind of scan twice: Once when I was 22, and then again when I was 31. It's not too pleasant but it's something that you must do.

  2. Thank you - everything was fine.

    Although I was not as successful as I would have liked getting the staff to talk to me, I did successfully order a copy of the scan and from now on any time I have any kind of imaging work I plan on adding to the collection. It is amazing how the technology has evolved.