River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic recently completed a digital radiography upgrade to the x-ray equipment in the imaging department.
The switch from computed radiography (CR) to digital radiography (DR) means up to a 40 percent reduction in radiation exposure for patients and physicians receive images up to 10 minutes faster than before.
“We love it,” said Kim Henze, Imaging Services Manager at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. “The training was easy, the system is really user friendly.”
Prior to the upgrade, the radiologic technologists would position the patient and the area to be imaged onto a cassette and then would expose the cassette. The cassette would then be removed from under the patient and placed into the machine that would create the digital image in about 90 seconds. After making sure the image was okay, the technologist would have to reposition the patient for the next image, place a new cassette under the patient and repeat the process.
Now, with the new digital radiography system there is an imaging plate and not cassettes. Once the plate is placed under the patient it does not have to be removed, this will greatly decrease the amount of discomfort the patient feels during the exam. Once the images have been taken the picture appears in under 6 seconds.
In addition to the digital radiography upgrade in the x-ray rooms, River’s Edge also upgraded its mobile units to digital radiography. The technologists bring the machine into the surgery suite to take images needed by the surgeon. Images appear within seconds and the technologist does not have to leave the surgical suite to take the cassette back to the machine that creates the image. These mobile units are also used at the patient’s bedside, when needed, and the Hospitalist will be able to see the images in seconds as well.
Henze said the new digital radiography upgrade to the mobile equipment allows for decreased “in and out time” by the tech in surgery and it ultimately reduces surgical and anesthesia time for the patient.
The digital radiography upgrade was retrofitted to the existing equipment in the two x-ray rooms, the existing mobile unit and the purchase of a second mobile unit. The $194,000 upgrade was part of the hospital’s 2015 capital improvement plan.