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Urgent X-Rays: Interesting Study on Patients and Reasons for Visits

You might think that urgent care radiology equipment would be used mostly for teenagers having too much fun testing their bodies’ limits on the weekend or kids or sports accidents, but this is not true. A new study performed by Teleradiology Specialists looked at the demographics of patients visiting the urgent care, how many patients were seen daily and what procedures were performed.

Studies such as these can help urgent care facilities staff and train to best suit the needs of the patients. For example 34% of all x-rays performed were chest x-rays. With this knowledge urgent health care clinics could increase the training of their staff in performing and reading results of chest and pulmonary x-rays. The expectations of the radiology staff could have more emphasis on the specific procedures performed at their clinic. Since the study researched the slowest and busiest days of the week, urgent care centers can also use this to assist in scheduling and staffing. Monday and Fridays are the busiest days of the week for radiology, while Sundays are the slowest.

The more information that practitioners and health care facility managers have, the better armed they are to provide the type of care that their patients require. Choosing the appropriate urgent care x-ray and radiology equipment as well as a team that is trained and properly staffed will help improve quality patient care.

The analysis concluded that x-ray utilization was not based on age or gender. The busiest days were Mondays and Friday, while Sunday was the slowest day of the week for x-ray procedures. More than one third of x-rays performed were chest x-rays. A minute amount of x-rays were given to those complaining of sinusitis, yet it was the second most common complaint found in the study of urgent care centers.

This study was conducted by a national teleradiology provider; the analysis included 7,675 X-ray studies from 56 facilities located in seven states.

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