VitalRads Radiology Pearls
No, I am not talking about General Electric! So, what is “GE”? In my mind, “GE” is an acronym for “good enough.” I often tell my kids “it is not ok to have a “good enough” attitude. If you are going to do something, do your best that you can each time and take pride in what you do. The avoidance of “GE” also pertains to film quality. Films that are overexposed and “black,” films that are rotated or obliqued, films that only have part of the region of interest on them, films that have no patient identification or right or left markers, or (and most importantly) films with human hands in them should be avoided. In the age of “digital radiographs” where an image can be retaken for little to no additional cost, there really is no excuse for poorly positioned “GE” films.
When you first see a radiograph on your monitor (or view box, if you haven’t made the digital leap yet), the first thing to ask yourself is: “Is the film of diagnostic quality?” If not, reshoot it then and there. Before you can read the film by asking yourself “what do I see on this film?” you must first ask yourself “what do I NOT see on this film?” If it is a film of the thorax and it is rotated, you cannot believe what you see as far as the cardiac size and shape – so you really don’t see the heart! If it is an abdominal film of a large dog that is vomiting and the cranial abdomen is not on the film, you really don’t see the stomach and liver! If you shoot a “whole body” or “thorax” film, many times you will not see the cranial most thorax or the caudal most abdomen (or both). In all these cases, the films should be immediately retaken. Ask yourself, if I you were coughing and went to the hospital and they shot radiographs centered over your liver and did not include your entire thorax, would I be happy? If they shot films that are black, would I be satisfied? If I had neck pain and they shot films centered over my liver, wouldn’t I wonder a little bit? I certainly would. I would question if this hospital really knew what they were doing. Were they trained well? Are they just lazy? So again, ask yourself then why is it we say “it’s good enough” in veterinary medicine?
So, avoid the “GE” or “good enough” mentality when it comes to film quality. If you think your clients will not notice, you’re probably wrong. They notice. Just like you, they want each and everything they pay for at your hospital to be done right. Done correctly. Not “GE.”