Patient Information
X-ray

What is an x-ray?
An x-ray, also known as a radiograph, is a common diagnostic tool used by physicians to non-invasively determine the cause of pain and ailments. By exposing the body to small amounts of ionizing radiation, pictures are produced of the inside of the patient’s body. This method has been used for many years and is the oldest form of medical imaging still in use today.

To ensure patients are safe and protected, technicians take extra care to ensure only a low dose of radiation is used, while still making sure that the image quality is top-notch so doctors can make an accurate diagnosis. New techniques concentrate the radiation on the area being imaged – leaving the rest of your body only minimally exposed.

How to prepare:
  • Walk-in basis only – no appointment needed
  • Bring valid health care and signed requisition form from your doctor
  • Be prepared to be asked to remove some of your clothing, or to be asked to change into a medical gown
  • Remove jewellery, eyewear, and any metal objects that may interfere
  • If you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, inform Georgian Radiology Consultants right away – x-rays are not advised during pregnancy, so as not to expose the fetus to radiation


Bone Densitometry


What is a bone density scan (DXA)?
Bone density scans are also known as duel-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), or simply bone densitometry. This type of medical imaging is similar to the traditional x-ray, only is more advanced and able to show bone mineral content.

This test is most often used on the lower spine and hips, and helps physicians diagnose osteoporosis.

How to prepare:
  • This is an outpatient procedure, so you will need an appointment
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your appointment. Don’t be late, or you will be re-booked
  • Bring a valid health care and signed requisition form your the doctor
  • Do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours prior to your appointment
  • If you’ve recently had an exam using a barium swallow, or a contrast material injection, please call the clinic prior to your scheduled appointment
  • You may have to wait up to 10 days to have a DXA if the above applies to you.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes, and don’t wear items with zippers, belts, or buttons if you can avoid it. Remove keys and your wallet if they are in the area being scanned.
  • Be prepared to be asked to remove some of your clothing, or be asked to change into a medical gown
  • Remove jewellery, eyewear, and any metal objects that may interfere
  • If you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant inform Georgian Radiology Consultants right away – x-rays are not advised during pregnancy, so as not to expose the fetus to radiation


Ultrasound


What is an ultrasound?
Ultrasound scanning is also known as sonography. It is a type of medical imaging that exposes the body to high frequency sound waves, which in turn produced pictures of the inside of the body. These images are shown to the patient in real time, so the rhythms and movements of the human body are visible.

Doppler ultrasounds were designed to check blood flow as it travels through the blood vessels – including the major arteries and veins in your abdomen, arms, legs, and neck.

How to prepare:
  • This is an outpatient procedure, so you will need an appointment
  • Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your appointment. Don’t be late, or you will be re-booked
  • Bring valid health card and signed requisition form your doctor
  • If you’ve had a barium enema or any gastrointestinal testing done two days prior to your appointment, call the clinic, as any residual barium in your intestines may affect your ultrasound results.
  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes, and don’t wear items with zippers, belts, or buttons if you can avoid it. Remove keys and your wallet if they are in the area being scanned.
  • You may be asked to wear a gown


Specific preparations for different types of ultrasounds:

  • Obstetrical/pelvic/renal – A full bladder is required for this examination. Finish drinking 1 litre of non-carbonated, clear fluid (water, black tea/coffee, juice - no dairy) 1 hour before appointment time. Do not empty your bladder until the examination is finished
  • Abdomen – DO NOT eat or drink for 8 hours prior to your appointment. NO CARBONATED BEVERAGES OR GUM for eight hours prior to the examination.
  • Abdomen/pelvic/renal – Do not eat or drink 8 hours prior to your appointment but finish drinking 1 litre of non-carbonated, clear fluid (water, black tea/coffee, juice - no dairy) 1 hour before your appointment time. Do not empty your bladder until the examination is finished.
  • Children – Please call our office for preparation advice.
  • Cardiovascular – Please call our office for preparation advice.
With five locations throughout the Simcoe Region to serve you – high quality medical imaging is just a phone call away!
FAQ
Q: What documents do I need for my examination?
A: You will need your health card and requisition form signed by the referring physician.

Q: Why do you need to see my health card at every visit?
A: Your OHIP card is the form of payment for your test(s). We need to verify the information that we have every time you come in so that we can get paid for the tests. If we do not have your current health card number and version code, you must pay for the examination before it is performed. You will be reimbursed for this payment once you return with a valid health card and version code.

Q: How can I renew my OHIP card?
A: For information on changing or renewing your health card please click here.

Q: Why do I need to bring my requisition if I’ve already booked the appointment?
A: Just like a prescription, your requisition is a legal order from your doctor. We are unable to perform any tests on you without this paper.

Q: Do I need an appointment?
A: Ultrasound and Bone Mineral Density exams require appointments. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to register. Regular x-rays are done on a walk in basis and do not require an appointment.

Q: How long will my test take?
A: Most booked appointments take about half an hour to complete. It is always a good idea to leave plenty of time before any other appointments. You may ask the receptionist or technologist for a better idea of timing for your examination. Regular x-rays are done on a walk-in basis. The wait time for X-rays is variable, depending on the time of day.

Q: Who will perform my exam?
A: Georgian Radiology Consultants only hire staff that are fully trained, meet the guidelines of recognized professional associations and fulfill any government regulations. Medical Radiation Technologists belong to the College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario, while Ultrasound Technologists are members of either the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals.

Q: Why can’t the technologist tell me what they see?
A: The technologists are specially trained in obtaining images of the body, but are not trained in their interpretation. A technologist is not legally allowed to give you any results. The examination must be read by a doctor who specializes in reading these tests.

Q: How soon will my doctor receive a report?
A: All studies are reviewed by a radiologist within one working day. For routine studies, your doctor’s office should receive a written report within one to three business days. If there are any urgent findings or if an urgent report is requested, a report can be faxed to your doctor’s office on the same day as the study.

Q: Who will interpret my examination?
A: Your examination will be interpreted by a radiologist, a physician with special training in Diagnostic Radiology. All of our physicians are board-certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have done additional subspecialty training in different areas of radiology. Our radiologists have staff appointments at Royal Victoria Hospital and Georgian Bay General Hospital where advanced imaging such as CT and MRI are also performed.

Q: Will the radiologist be able to correlate imaging from the hospital and other clinics?
A: Our physicians hold privileges at Royal Victoria Hospital and Georgian Bay General Hospital, and have remote access to digital images from these hospitals. We have no access to imaging from outside private clinics, or other hospitals unless these are made available by the physician or the patient via film or DVD. Please indicate on your requisition if the patient has had prior imaging at one of our hospitals or clinics.

Q: Do I need to bring prior films for my appointment?
A: It is very important to bring any prior films from other hospitals or clinics with you to your appointment. This will help the radiologist interpret your current examination and detect any subtle changes.

Q: How do I know if the equipment used is safe?
A: All of our equipment undergoes regular maintenance and inspections as mandated by the government. This ensures the best performance, while protecting both your safety and that of the operator.

Q: Do you offer immigration chest X-rays?
A: This service is provided at our clinics, but is not covered by OHIP.

Q: I was told not to eat or drink anything before my test. Can I take my medication?
A: If you are taking any medication that you are concerned about, or are diabetic, please tell the receptionist when you book your appointment.

Q: How does Georgian Radiology Consultants protect my records?
A: As custodian of all records produced at GRC, we have an obligation under the Privacy Act to protect your records for the prescribed periods of time.

Q: Can I pick up my x-ray films to take to my doctor or specialist?
A: All films must be signed out by the patient. If sending someone to pick up the films for you, please provide a note authorizing that person to do so. Copies of your report can be sent to any physician or specialist with your consent.

Q: How can I get a copy of my ultrasound?
A: We can burn a DVD of your films while you wait. This service is free if requested by your referring physician or specialist. However, if it is intended for personal use, such as taking it abroad, a charge of $20 is applied. For obstetrical ultrasounds, a charge of $20 is applied where we provide you a DVD with selected images of your baby.

Q: For exams or services not covered by OHIP, how can I pay?
A: Payment is required prior to performing the examination. We accept Visa, MasterCard or Debit for non OHIP services.