Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the purpose of heart screening?
A: The objective of heart screening is to detect deadly cardiac conditions that a routine physical exam would typically miss. Most young people who die suddenly did not realize they had a serious heart condition. Their families do not find out until it is too late. Heart screening can detect many potentially deadly conditions, at which point we recommend follow-up with your doctor and/or a cardiologist.
Q: Why do I need a SafeBeat screening if I have a doctor?
A: SafeBeat efforts do not replace your primary care physician, but works as a member of your healthcare team. We perform electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) testing as a component of our heart screening, which is generally not covered by insurance as part of a routine physical unless you experience symptoms. Unfortunately, primary care physicians cannot typically detect these conditions without performing an ECG or other tests.
Q: What is an electrocardiogram? (ECG / EKG)
A: Electrocardiography measures the electrical activity of the heart. The graph showing the results is called an electrocardiogram.
Q: What happens during an ECG test?
Q: Why should I have these tests done if I have no symptoms?
A: Unfortunately, your body's warning signs and symptoms often come too late. Since more than half of the individuals who have underlying heart conditions have no symptoms and show no signs, it is important to be screened to identify problems before a serious problem.
Q: At what age and how often should I be screened?
A: The optimal screening interval is based on your age, family history, and other personal risk factors and the results of your initial health screenings. We recommend screening at age six as a baseline, then every two years after the onset of puberty. Your physician can recommend a screening interval that best suits your personal needs. SafeBeat creates and stores an electronic medical record so your health can be monitored over time and can be shared with your physician.
Q: How long does the screening take?
A: The entire ECG screening process typically takes about fifteen minutes.
Q: When will I receive my results?
A: You will receive your formal results in the mail within ten business days. In the event that screening shows an imminent risk to you, you would be advised within 24 hours. We keep all results confidential. You will receive a copy of your ECG test along with a written letter explaining the results. You may share this information with your doctor if you choose. We will also provide electronic access to your records online.
Q: Who reads the screening results?
A: The screening results are read and interpreted by our computer software, then reviewed by a board-certified cardiologist.
Q: How private is the testing area?
A: SafeBeat respects, first and foremost, the privacy and dignity of our clients. We use privacy screens to separate the testing area from the waiting area and each testing room is separate. Gowns are available for your comfort.
Q: Can I eat or drink anything before these screenings?
A: Yes. However, please refrain from drinking large amounts of cold water prior to the test as it may affect the screening results, and allow a cool-down period of at least half and hour prior to your test if you have engaged in strenuous physical activity.