When you’re faced with an illness and your doctor hands you a prescription for a radiology procedure — like an MRI or a CT scan — what do you do?

The choices are numerous, but not all imaging centers are created equal. That’s why it pays to do some research before scheduling your exam. Some important factors to consider are: facility accreditations, technologists’ and radiologists’ expertise and training, available technology, and the accessibility of your imaging study to your doctor.

ACR Accreditations: In order to operate x-ray equipment, a diagnostic imaging center is required to obtain a state license. In addition, depending on the modality, other licenses and accreditations are mandated. For example, to perform mammography, a facility must have both an American College of Radiology (ACR) Accreditation in mammography, and a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) Certification. To perform nuclear medicine studies, such as PET/CT, a site must be certified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

In addition to these required certifications and accreditations, a diagnostic imaging center may decide to establish itself as a premier service provider by obtaining voluntary certifications in other imaging modalities. Princeton Radiology is accredited in all modalities at each of its four outpatient imaging centers in Princeton, Jamesburg, Hillsborough, and East Windsor. Additionally, each office has a facility license granted by the FDA.

Certified Technologists: Technologists are the individuals who operate the equipment and obtain the images for the radiologists to interpret. A good technologist will carefully explain the procedure to you and let you know what is required, position you gently, and perform the exam. You’ll want to make sure the technologists at the center you select are registered, meaning they’ve met certain educational and certifying exam requirements.

At Princeton Radiology, all of our technologists are registered (“R.T.”), and those operating in specialty areas, such as ultrasound or mammography, have additional certifications in those areas. Technologists who administer contrast injections for CT, MRI or nuclear medicine studies are also certified in basic and/or advanced cardiac life support in case of a reaction.

Expert Radiologists: Radiologists are medical doctors who have been specially trained to interpret images of the body and diagnose disease. They supply your doctors with information they need to provide appropriate treatment or care. They also monitor the progress of each exam to assure that the most accurate results are obtained for every patient. It is important, when selecting a radiology group, to investigate the qualifications of the radiologists. Board certification is an absolute minimum.

The radiologists at Princeton Radiology are all certified by the American Board of Radiology, but what’s even better for our patients is that each expert radiologist also has sub-specialized training in specific radiological imaging modalities and different areas of the body. They hold certificates in neurological imaging, musculoskeletal imaging, pediatric imaging, vascular and interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, and breast imaging.

Advanced Technology: Another consideration when looking for where to schedule your procedure is how current the software and imaging tools are at the center. The field of radiology is constantly changing, and new digital technology has made procedures faster and images clearer. Generally, the newer the equipment, the better the images, and the lower the radiation dosage required. Princeton Radiology offers the latest state-of-the-art, all-digital diagnostic equipment — including digital mammography, SPECT/CT and PET/CT — to detect disease quickly and accurately.

Access to Results: After your imaging study, your doctor needs to receive your results as soon as possible so he/she can best direct your care. Until recently, your study would have been developed on film and delivered to your doctor, a process that often took days. Now, with Picture Archiving & Communications Systems (PACS), many imaging centers can deliver the results from your study to your doctor’s office digitally at the speed of the Internet.

When you have an exam performed at any of Princeton Radiology’s four outpatient facilities, your complete study (both report and images) is accessible to your doctor on his/her computer via the Internet. This means no more waiting for a report to be sent, and no more picking up and transporting images to your doctor’s office.

Your Choice: Princeton Radiology – Excellence in Imaging: As a patient, you have the choice of where to go for your diagnostic testing. If you choose Princeton Radiology, you can be sure that you will be getting the best care available. That’s because standing behind our name are 32 Board Certified Radiologists and Radiation Oncologists from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, sub-specialty licensed technologists, a consistent 99% patient satisfaction record, and a 50-year-old tradition of delivering the latest, most sophisticated treatments and technology available with the level of expertise and patient care you expect from world-class doctors.

For more information about Princeton Radiology, call 609-655-0802 or visit www.princetonradiology.com.

Princeton Radiology offers the most advanced all-digital imaging services available in their full-service facilities located in: Princeton, Jamesburg, Hillsborough and East Windsor. 609-655-0802. www.princetonradiology.com.

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