[Tagging] Medical imaging facility

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Sun Jan 10 20:35:53 UTC 2021

Lots of comments!

1) Radiology vs imaging:
In my experience in the US, many hospitals have a "Radiology department"
which originally was for x-rays (aka Roncen / radiography / "plain films")
back when that was the only technology.  Smaller X-ray machines can be
portable but the better ones are installed permanently. The Radiology
department also has rooms for the Radiologist (a specialist physician) to
look at the images.

Later CT (computed tomography) was added, where the patient slides through
a circular machine which sends x-rays from all angles, allowing to compute
2-d slices and even 3-d models of the inside of the body, based on
different x-ray absorption.

MRI uses a totally different technology, nuclear magnetic resonance (but
the name MRI "magnetic resonance imaging" was changed because the word
"nuclear" sounds radioactive, which is incorrect, and the magnetic field is
what is measured). It might be found next to the CT room, but might be in a
new building, since they require very expensive and complex magnetic
shielding in the surrounding walls.

Ultrasound machines are often portable but will usually have a home in the
radiology department, even though they operate with high frequency sound
waves, not radiation, they are also "medical imaging", and will be
interpreted by a "Radiologist" - though OB docs and Family Medicine
physicians like myself can also do it.

So, the historic term "Radiology department / ward" is still used in
hospitals. But the outpatient facilities often call themselves a "Medical
imaging centre" and offer the same technologies, with the difference that
many outpatient imaging centres do not actually have a Radiologist or
physician in the building most of the time.

I would propose using the same tag for both hospital "Radiology
wards/departments" and outpatient medical imaging facilities, since for a
general map users they are more or less the same feature.
(healthcare=medical_imaging seems most popular)

2) Endoscopy
> "Endoscopy was nearby but not in the radiology department. That probably
counts as medical imaging, though"

Endoscopy, including Colonoscopies and EGDs, are not medical imaging. These
are invasive procedures where a gastroenterologist (GI doc) sends a long
flexible tube down your throat or up through your rectum. "Imaging" is more
or less non-invasive (though you might need to drink some "contrast media"
or have an injection).

3) Dental-only radiography
Re: "http://www.rentgen-gertrudy.pl/ Looking at their website they actually
offer solely variety of dental x-rays."
Well that's interesting. I suppose this is a good case for adding
healthcare:speciality=dental - it's true that the dental x-ray equipment is
often quite specialized. If these are very common in your country, it could
also be possible to have healthcare=dental_xray - but it might be quite
limited in use.

For an ordinary dentist office, you could use "xray=yes" or "xray=no" to
describe the presence of x-ray facilities in the dental office.

3) Interventional radiology
There are sub-specialist radiologists who do procedures to treat cancer or
tumors or blood clots, called interventional radiologists. These services
will generally be in a hospital, since they are risky, and often have a
special suite or room. They involve invasive procedures (sticking needles
and tubes into your body), so are not just imaging. We should discuss this
sort of feature along with other hospital departments which perform
operations and procedures, such as surgery, labor & delivery, endoscopy,
cath lab, trauma surgery, and so on.

-- Joseph Eisenberg

On Sun, Jan 10, 2021 at 11:35 AM António Madeira <antoniomadeira at gmx.com>

> Às 12:38 de 10/01/2021, Stefan Tauner escreveu:
> On Sun, 10 Jan 2021 14:08:40 +0000
> Paul Allen <pla16021 at gmail.com> <pla16021 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Jan 2021 at 13:45, Andy Townsend <ajt1047 at gmail.com> <ajt1047 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 10/01/2021 12:11, Paul Allen wrote:
> If you're a physicist, that is correct.  If you're in a hospital, those
> (including ultrasound) are in the radiology department.
> I believe that there are ultrasound imaging rooms adjacent to some of the
> X Ray ones upstairs there.
> I think ultrasound is in a separate room to X-Ray/CAT/MRI in the big
> hospital near me.  Adjacent rooms, though, and all in the same department
> called radiology.
> Endoscopy was nearby but not in the radiology department.  That
> probably counts as medical imaging, though.  So there appears to
> be a distinction, in one hospital, between radiology and medical
> imaging in general.  Maybe Joseph can enlighten us.
> I want to point out that the initial subject was not related to
> hospitals at all. There are external facilities that specialize on
> these diagnostics only in some places. This subthread will only become
> relevant when we start tagging hospital interiors. We most certainly
> would not want to do that with a simple healthcare=* tag.
> Yes, I agree. Please, stay on topic...
>  I would go with this:
> On Sun, 10 Jan 2021 at 12:04, Minh Nguyen via Tagging <
> tagging at openstreetmap.org> wrote:
> > Tags in use include healthcare=radiology - though this is a bit
> > ambiguous - perhaps amenity=medical_imaging or
> > healthcare=medical_imaging is clearer?
> Something with "medical imaging" in it sounds reasonable.
> Yes, I'd go for healthcare=medical_imaging sub-tagged imaging=xray / CT /
> MRI / nuclear etc
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