Trish Rideout, RT, radiology department manager, positions a patient for a procedure on the new digital radiography unit. Inset below, Judy Woodfin, RT, at the digital unit's control panel, reviews the image of a patient procedure just taken. For convenience and quality purposes, the technologist can now review an image just seconds after the procedure and before the patient leaves the room.
Kneibert Clinic adds state-of-the-art digital radiography
In order to provide the best possible care to their patients, Kneibert Clinic recently installed a Siemens DR state-of-the-art digital radiography unit.
Compared to a conventional film X-ray unit, this digital X-ray has multiple advantages. It provides increased patient comfort and enhanced diagnostic quality with a smaller dose of radiation. It is fast, flexible and able to provide a wide range of radiological examinations. In addition, this technology also is much more environmentally friendly. Hazardous chemicals are no longer used for processing of the film.
This technology also is unique. It allows the patient to spend much less time on the X-ray table and, in many cases, the X-ray image can be taken while the patient is in a wheel chair.
The digital image is produced almost immediately instead of waiting for each film to be developed. The technologist then is able to adjust the patient for an additional image or repeat the image.
When the images have been taken, the technologist is able to transmit the digital images to the radiologist in Cape Girardeau and to the patient’s referring physician’s computer before the patient leaves the radiology department.
Dr. Kirby Turner is impressed with the efficiency of the system. “Before the patient is back from radiology, I have already received and reviewed the X-ray,” he said.
The quality of the images or resolution is dramatically improved. Small hairline fractures that would go undetected on a film are often visible.
“The quality of the images is amazing,” Dr. Williams of the Cape Radiology Group said. “This is better than what we have in our office.”
Perhaps a lesser known benefit of switching to digital radiography is image sharing.
With films, couriers were needed to transport films from clinics to hospitals. Now, the digital images can be sent electronically to any designated physician or hospital.
The image can also be “burned” onto a compact disc and given to the patient or mailed if necessary. It can then be downloaded onto a physician’s computer.
Dr. Mike Stevenson was an early supporter of this technology, having used it during his tour in Iraq.
“We could take X-rays, burn a CD, duct tape the CD to the wounded soldier and ship him out of Iraq to a hospital,” he said.
Using digital radiography, Kneibert Clinic will be able to provide increased diagnostic capability, and provide better and safer care to their patients. Scans that used to take 10 minutes will now only take two minutes.
This article originally was published in the Daily American Republic Progress Edition in October 2007. It is reproduced here with permission.