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Take Control of Your Health Care with Same-Day Diagnostic Imaging

Same-day appointments for CT scans and patient-friendly imaging reports make things easy for patients in pain.

Amelia had just shut the front door after shooing her two kids out the door in time to make the school bus when she doubled over in pain. Her lower right abdomen was throbbing. She’d felt some cramping the previous few days, but over-the-counter pain medications had brought relief. This felt like something much more serious.

She called her primary care doctor and managed to book an appointment for the following morning. At the office, her physician immediately recommended a CT scan. Amelia needed one as soon as possible. She didn’t have the time to be in agony: She had soccer practices to shuttle her kids to, work responsibilities to stay on top of, and a fridge that was desperately in need of filling. And the 36-year-old wasn’t sure she could power through this persistent nausea and aching the way she’d handled cramps her whole adult life.

Her doctor recommended she call Touchstone Medical Imaging. The outpatient medical imaging company has 11 metro Denver locations and can easily accommodate same-day CT appointments. Even better: Evening availability meant Amelia could book her appointment after her husband got home from work to take over parenting duties. (Touchstone also offers early morning and weekend appointments, which makes scheduling a breeze.)

But Amelia had a nagging concern: It was only March, and the family wasn’t close to hitting its deductible. Thankfully, she learned Touchstone was in-network with her insurance (it’s actually in-network with 99 percent of plans) and charged up to 60 percent less for diagnostic imaging services than hospitals. She had no excuse for blowing off her own health needs.

“Working with Touchstone is just easier,” says Dr. Jennifer Kemp, a radiologist. “There’s less wait time. The customer service is better.”

The Touchstone radiologist who studied Amelia’s scan that evening noted that she was likely suffering from ovarian torsion. Her ovary was twisting on its own tissue and cutting off blood supply; if left untreated, it could cause the organ’s tissue to die, which would leave her with a nonfunctioning ovary.

“Patients need answers quickly when they’re writhing in pain. They may need treatment and it can be super scary,” Kemp says. “An ovarian torsion is a huge deal because the treatment is surgical, and women want to keep their ovaries and preserve their fertility.”

Amelia and her husband were discussing having another child, so reading the words “ovarian torsion” on her radiology report initially scared her. But as she scanned the rest of the document, she calmed down.

Touchstone is the first medical imaging facility in the country to provide Scanslated’s interactive, patient-friendly reports to their clients, and their Denver locations are the only ones in Colorado that do so. Esteemed institutions such as Duke Health and the Mayo Clinic have since followed suit.

As Amelia read, medical terms were translated into plain language, diagrams helped explain what “torsion” really meant, and she understood that treatment—surgery—would likely lead to a full recovery. She wouldn’t have had any of this information at her fingertips had she opted to get her imaging done at a hospital. Thanks to Touchstone, she had the basic answers she needed and was prepared with specific questions for the surgeon when they met.

“Patients who are informed and patients who understand their health have better health outcomes,” Kemp says. “We have research that shows Touchstone patients feel more prepared to see their doctor, feel less stress and less anxiety, because they understand their radiology report and imaging. They’re more likely to understand the treatment plan the doctor is walking them through.”

Amelia was able to undergo the procedure a few days later and have her ovary untwisted laparoscopically. She needed ibuprofen to manage the lingering pain and wasn’t able to do any intense physical activity for a few weeks, but the pain was gone, and she knew she would be back to her regular schedule soon.