Every 6 months I have my brain, thoracic, cervical and lumbar spine all scanned with and without contrast. The scans are then supposed to be sent to my neurologist, and the radiology reports are supposed to compare the current tumor measurements to past reports to find if I have had any growth. About a week after the exams I pick up my own copy of all 4 radiology reports for my own files. This all sounds SO simple doesn't it? Then why... why for the love of GOD, is it so hard for professional MRI facilities to follow this protocol?
I used to have my MRIs done at Millenium Imaging here in Rancho Cucamonga. They would burn me a CD with all my scans to take with me to my neurologist appointment. In August of 2007 they sent me all the way to Newport Beach to take up my doctor's time with a blank CD! I was so irritated! Then I go back, and they give me a CD with only the brain scan! It took them 2 weeks to finally just send a correct CD with all scans to the doctor. The next time I needed MRIs in February of 2008 I went back, but I spoke to the office manager and specifically reminded them what needed to be done. AGAIN they sent an incomplete CD to the doctor. This was after I asked them to open the files and double check the CD before I left their office. They assured me all of the scans were on the CD, but they weren't!
So this time I went to Grove Diagnostics in Upland to have my MRIs. I told the MRI tech about all of the problems at Millenium Imaging, and she couldn't believe them either. Over 2 days I had all my exams done. Before I left I asked the tech to please make sure my old scans were sent over from Millenium Imaging so the radiologist could do a comparison in his report. This is completely standard protocol. A week later I speak to my neurologist's nurse, her office only received my thoracic and lumbar scans! Seriously!? Again!? I just couldn't believe it. I called Grove and they said they would send all of the scans immediately. I spoke to the nurse and she said she recieved more scans, but still didn't have the brain with contrast! So I go down to Grove myself and they are making this all kinds of difficult, supposedly they will contact the Doctor and send everything that needs to be sent. Why did I have to force them to do that to begin with? On top of it, I got my radiology reports, and the radiologist did not do a comparison! Millenium Imaging only sent over my brain scan. I went to Millenium Imaging and signed a release and hopefully now it will all get sorted out.
Why does it have to be so convoluted and difficult? As hard as it is to find a job, how do these people find jobs? You know you see them walking around with their jaw hanging open, eyes a bit glazed, and you just think who freaking hired these inept people? When handling people's medical information you would think they would be a bit more careful. I mean don't worry, no big deal if I don't know how many brain tumors I have growing right?
A lot of people have been asking me for an update and I will post here as soon as all of my scans are sent to my neurologist and reviewed.