A Picture of Preventative Healthcare

By Amber Mabe

It is no secret that regular screenings are an essential part of healthcare, saving countless lives each year by providing early detection and accurate evaluation of potential problems. So why is it that so many of us avoid routine health screenings? For some, it is the fear of the unknown. What will it feel like? Will it be embarrassing? Will it be painful? For others, it can be a lack of access. Whether it be poor health insurance, transportation issues, or a difficult-to-navigate referral system, screenings that should be available to everyone can feel out of reach to some. Many people avoid screenings because of an unpleasant experience in the past or the belief that they simply do not need to be examined. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Outpatient Imaging seeks to overcome these prohibitive factors by making screenings available and less intimidating to everyone who needs them.

Making patients aware of their need for an exam is the first step in providing quality preventative and diagnostic healthcare. While most people are aware that mammograms are a vital part of female healthcare, many still fail to have them performed as early or as frequently as necessary. Healthcare professionals often encourage women with higher risk factors to begin having mammograms done at a younger age, but most preventative mammograms should begin around the age of 40. Regular screening has been proven to increase the survival rate in breast cancer patients significantly, as it allows healthcare providers to begin early treatments–often before symptoms are even present.

Fewer people may realize that lung cancer screening is now possible and highly suggested for those at an increased risk of lung cancer. Adults over 50 with a history of smoking may be eligible for a lung cancer screening program that Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Outpatient Imaging offers, to catch lung cancer before it becomes too difficult to treat. A fast-moving and often symptom-less cancer while in its early stages, lung cancer is most treatable when found by early CT-scans. Insurance often covers these Low-Dose CT Lung Screenings, which are an important part of preventative care for those at risk for lung cancer.

A third service that Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Outpatient hopes to educate potential clients on is bone density screening. Women over 50 are at the highest risk for osteoporosis and the health challenges associated with this loss in bone density, but scans may be recommended earlier for those who have reached menopause before the age of 50. The first few years after menopause are pivotal times for monitoring bone health, as major drops in estrogen can rapidly weaken bones. Early treatment may be key to preserving your bone health and quality of life as you age. At the Kernersville office, bone density scans are performed at the same building as mammograms, making it easier for patients to schedule appointments.

Knowing what imaging you need is a good place to start, but accessibility is the key to following through with care. Many patients with every good intention to engage in preventative care fall by the wayside due to financial or referral issues, inability to make it to appointments, or a lack of understanding as to the process of receiving diagnostic imaging. Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Outpatient Imaging seeks to eliminate as many of the prohibitive factors as possible that are keeping patients from receiving treatment. The Kernersville office is one of several conveniently located offices in the Wake Forest system, with a new office opening in Greensboro this July across from the Friendly Center. “Patients want an imaging center close to home,” says Director of Center Operations, Brenda Bronk. The one-story Kernersville building is easily accessible for patients of all mobility needs, and features free parking. The center accepts a wide range of insurance plans, and seeks to work with those who may not be on the included list however possible.

“Ten years ago, no one promoted healthcare or where to come for services,” Brenda says. “With the insurance change and high deductibles, patients became more savvy of the cost of their exams. We offer outpatient pricing so patients can get their exams at a lower cost.”

This commitment to accessibility sets this outpatient imaging center apart, providing quality care to as many people as possible across the Triad.

Great customer service, groundbreaking technology, and highly skilled professionals are the jewels in the crown of any healthcare office, and Wake Forest Baptist Health Outpatient Imaging has them all. The new 3T MRI, for example, takes the fear factor out of the MRI experience with its calming environment and larger bore size, while providing top-quality images at the same time. Improved 3D Mammography allows the center’s expert breast imaging radiologists to reliably diagnose patients by providing clear images even through dense breast tissue. The specialized Dual-Energy X-ray Apsorptiometry (DEXA) technology can detect osteoporosis by using low-level x-ray energy to measure bone density. The test usually only takes a few minutes and is painless. Sub-specialized Musculoskeletal Radiologists review every exam, ensuring that every patient receives accurate information about their scans as well as excellent customer service. “We want to provide people with a good experience,” says Brenda, “and we walk with them through the entire exam process.” The Kernersville office also provides top-quality ultrasound, x-ray, and CT imaging, implementing the latest technology. Highly trained and accredited technologists perform every exam, and board-certified specialized radiologists review the results, working together to bring about the most accurate and thorough results possible.

If you have been looking for an imaging center that will put your needs first, look no further than Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Health Outpatient Imaging. Perhaps you have been putting off a routine scan for one reason or another. There is no better time than the present to take charge of your health and future by scheduling preventative healthcare visits. To request an appointment or simply learn more about what services are available at the Kernersville office (located at 861 Old Winston Road), visit wakehealth.edu/imaging, or call the Kernersville office at 336-765-5722.

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