September 22, 2023Read More
Medical imaging is a critical step in identifying and treating a variety of health issues. Without it, early diagnosis would be near impossible. Whether you’ve had many scans in the past or are preparing for your first imaging appointment, one of the biggest questions on your mind may be: “What happens next?”
In many imaging reports, there are recommendations for additional imaging. But, 60% of those recommendations are never followed up on according to a 2021 study, which could lead to several implications, including:
That’s why PocketHealth has launched Follow-Up Navigator as part of Report Reader—so you never miss a critical next step in your healthcare journey.
A medical follow-up is intended to monitor your health over time, after a specific course of treatment or procedure.
After you complete any recommended imaging (e.g., X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.), a radiologist reviews those images and summarizes the findings into a report for your recommending physician to review. Sometimes, these reports contain specific recommendations for additional follow-up imaging, investigation or treatment.
This could manifest in many ways, whether it’s another imaging scan in a few months or a follow-up appointment with a specialist. Here are some examples:
Unless you receive a copy of the imaging report (and can easily decipher the medical jargon without a tool like Report Reader), it can be difficult to know if and when you need any additional follow-ups. Your referring physician will generally review your results with you and identify follow-ups, including additional appointments, imaging or referrals. It can be difficult to keep track of follow-up recommendations and administrative errors can happen in today’s overburdened medical system.
With Follow-Up Navigator you can easily keep tabs on any recommended medical follow-ups and have all of your follow-ups stored in one central location. As part of the Report Reader functionality, Follow-Up Navigator:
No one wants to accidentally miss any diagnostic follow-up imaging or specialist appointments that could prevent or shorten an illness. With Follow-Up Navigator, you have the tools and knowledge to advocate for your own health and take control of your follow-ups, which reduces the risk of missed or delayed treatment.
“I have to get ultrasounds once a year because they found cysts on my kidneys. Using Report Reader I can look at my regular imaging to understand what has changed and when [Follow-Up Navigator] says I need to follow up, I know what next steps to take.”
– Wanda, Chronically ill patient
Having access to your imaging reports helps avoid certain issues that other patients may experience, such as scattered reports from switching providers or a delayed recommendation to a specialist.
And when you review your imaging report and recommendations before meeting with your primary care physician, you have the chance to educate yourself in advance, so you can prepare more informed questions and understand what follow-ups are needed.
Knowing what lies ahead helps you become a more informed patient, so you can play a more active role in your healthcare journey going forward.
With tools like Report Reader definitions and Follow-Up Navigator in your back pocket, you’ll have critical medical information at your fingertips. Whether it’s having more knowledgeable conversations with your healthcare providers, booking follow-up appointments, or just for peace of mind, PocketHealth supports you along your care journey.
Access your records today to see how PocketHealth helps patients retrieve, share and understand their imaging reports.