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Mayo Radiology -- do your studies at home and bring them to Mayo is best.


Mayo clinic is a fine medical institution, but like their doctors, the institution is somewhat narcisisstic. Mayo wants to do things their way and thinks that they know best.

One place where this causes trouble is Mayo's method of communicating with referring physicians. They send ENCRYPTED radiology CD's back to referring doctors. Encrypted ? I guess Mayo is trying to protect themselves from being sued for HIPPA violations, at the expense of their referring physicians. Lets imagine - -a Mayo clerk send's John Smith's MRI scan to one of the other 50 or so John Smith's in the medical system. The wrong John Smith reports Mayo to the government. Our government then sues Mayo for sending the wrong MRI. Not very likely, but could happen. So the safest thing for Mayo to do is to make sure NOBODY gets those images. They can do this by locking them down. So perhaps we have a situation where to be eliminate risk of a lawsuit from the federal government, Mayo degrades their core function, which is to communicate with referring physicians. Stranger things are always happening.

To be kind and assume that Mayo is not trying to just eliminate their legal risk from our government, Mayo may presumes on their part, that the referring doctors have no radiology viewing system (this is called a PACS). A PACS allows doctors to store radiology films and compare them across years. For example -- is that aneurysm getting any bigger ? Is that brain tumor growing ? One does this by comparing images across years. Almost nobody gets all of their radiology done at one hospital or medical conglomerate, and because of this, the Mayo policy greatly diminishes the ability of doctors in general to use Mayo information to keep track of their patient's tumors, aneurysms, etc.

Recently (i.e. 2018) I was amazed when a patient showed me their MRI scan on their iphone. Thats just great -- Mayo does an MRI on my patient, and sends them back with images on their cell phone. What about the referring physician ?

Also recently, I was emailed by Mayo, offering to allow me to connect up to their systems to view images remotely. This "pull" solution solves Mayo's problems, but it again degrades the referring doctor's function. How do I compare that aneurysm scan in Chicago to the one at Mayo ? Not very easy.

Bottom line --

It is best not to get your radiology (i.e. scans of this or that) done at Mayo. If you have an option of home testing or Mayo testing, home is nearly always better. Mayo can always get images from your institution (because almost nobody encrypts their radiology), but it doesn't go the other way.




© Copyright March 4, 2018 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved.
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