How to Read a Scan Prescription

How to Read an Imaging Scan Prescription

Medical imaging is a specialized science that requires experience and expertise, with a focus on each individual patient. To ensure your safety by adhering to radiation safety guidelines, Medmo requires you to have prescriptions for diagnostic imaging scans such as MRIs, CT scans, ultrasounds, and others you may want to book. Prescriptions may be difficult to interpret and you may not know what it is even for. This article will give you the rundown of what a medical imaging prescription is and how to read it. If you have a prescription and want to book a scan near you, visit us at to get started.

What is an Imaging Prescription?

An imaging prescription is a physician’s order for the preparation and administration of an imaging scan for a patient. Your prescription is not your radiology report. Your radiology report is the written analysis by the radiologist interpreting your type of scan after it has been performed. It is then transmitted to your requesting physician or medical specialist who will then tell you the results. Before that happens, you need to schedule your scan which requires a prescription, also known as a doctor’s referral. You are not allowed to fill out your prescription. At your doctor’s appointment, your doctor or their office staff will ask you relevant questions about your personal information, past/relevant medical history, and why you need your scan. 

Questions may include: 

  • Your date of birth (DOB)
  • Phone number
  • Symptoms
  • List of controlled substances you are taking

You will also be asked basic screening questions such as: 

  • Are you pregnant?
  • If you have worked with metal (grinding, drilling, welding)?
  • If you have a cardiac pacemaker?
  • If you have any cerebral aneurysm clips?
  • Are you claustrophobic, restless, or in a lot of pain? 
  • If you have a history of back or neck surgery?
  • If you have experienced any side effects of medical imaging?

Certain answers may affect the type of imaging services you can be prescribed. For example, pregnant women are advised not to receive scans involving radiation such as computerized tomography (CT scans), and those who work closely with metal or have metal implants cannot receive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan). Your doctor will also include whether your scan will include any contrast dyes or contrast materials. The prescription may also have any precautions you have to take for your scan type, such as any medications your doctor prescribes and if you can eat or drink anything before your scan.

What does a prescription tell you?

Your imaging prescription will tell you the scan type your referring physician has prescribed. It may also tell you the time and location of your imaging scan. The information on your prescription will include important details needed to schedule an appointment which can be done at If you already have an appointment but need to reschedule, we can assist with that as well.  

To book a scan, visit us at Medmo helps people schedule radiology imaging tests – such as MRI, CT scans, PET, and more – at nearby accredited centers and identify the payment solution that works best for them.


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