Top 5 Benefits to Having Digital Radiography

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Digital Radiography (DR) is the future frontier of X-ray imaging technology, giving benefits that can elevate patient care at your institution to a higher level. Without question, upgrading your X-ray equipment can be a significant investment, but we believe these five benefits that DR machines can provide to your facility or practice are well worth the cost:

  • Improved Visuals or Imaging
  • Improved Image Enhancement
  • Improved Efficiency
  • Extra Space for Storing
  • Lowered Doses of Radiation

Let’s take a closer look at each of these advantages:

Improved Visuals or Imaging- Improvements in DR hardware and software have led to a significant uptick in image quality. By taking advantage of a more excellent dynamic range, DR becomes less vulnerable to either over- or underexposure. The software used in DR systems also allows radiologists to use specialized image processing techniques to increase the image’s overall clarity and depth, leading to more accurate diagnoses.

Improved Image Enhancement- The developments as mentioned earlier in software capabilities allow for the following improvements to images:

  • Increased or decreased brightness and contrast
  • Flipped or inverted views
  • Magnified areas of interest
  • Mark with measurements and important notes directly on the image itself

Doctors and patients both benefit from high-quality, annotated photos. Doctors can explain to patients when they can observe the anomalies they have detected. In this method, clinicians promote greater patient awareness of the diagnosis and treatment procedures, increasing the possibility that patients will agree to the doctor’s recommendations. As a result, the likelihood of positive patient outcomes increases. 

Improved Efficiency- DR equipment has earned a reputation for ease of use, which means less time required per image (some estimates indicate 90-95% less time than analog film), fewer mistakes and retakes, and less time needed for training. Because digital X-ray scans are caught by a digital receptor and quickly supplied to a viewing station, the time spent waiting for the chemical development of X-ray film is eliminated. DR also allows the radiologist to instantly rerun a scan if the initial image was unclear or featured artifacts, maybe due to patient movement during the scan.

Extra Space for Storing- It’s incredible how rapidly physical copies of photos pile up, frequently necessitating an unrealistic amount of storage space for any size facility. The DR and PACS (picture archiving and communication system) combination has rendered such excessive storage unnecessary. Images no longer need to be manually collected from the records department or storage facility. Instead, every digital image saved electronically in a PACS system can be quickly retrieved at any linked workstation where it is required, dramatically reducing patient treatment delays.

Lowered Doses of Radiation- When compared to many other modalities, digital imaging produces less radiation, and the time patients are exposed to radiation is substantially reduced due to its enhanced speed.

How Can We Reduce the Risks of Radiation?

The amount of X-ray radiation emitted is a crucial concern when discussing safety. Although the human body can safely absorb and handle trim radiation levels, poorly maintained X-ray devices can emit unneeded amounts that endanger patient and staff health. Regular inspections and maintenance of your machines are critical to upholding safety requirements.

What does Regular Repair of X-Ray Equipment include?

To ensure that no long-term damage is caused by radiation emission, your X-ray machines new equipment must be checked frequently for malfunctions. Be sure that you’re paying attention to the following items.

Cleaning the Tubes 

If your X-ray machine utilizes open X-ray tubes, which can be opened to clean or replace components, including filaments, targets, o-rings, and sockets, and are sealed with vacuum pressure, be sure that you regularly conduct the following upkeep:

  • Clean the tubes.
  • Check the tube body and its components for flaws.
  • Replace or repair worn-out parts as soon as possible.

Checking General Functionality

Trained technicians can conduct overall preventative maintenance. This routine upkeep usually includes the following:

  • Confirming correct operating procedures are being followed
  • Routine cleaning
  • Tightening all components and hardware
  • Checking image quality by taking images of provided reference material
  • Running a diagnostics check
  • Testing the computer operating system

Records for Equipment Performance Evaluations (EPE) should be kept on file in case any questions are asked about maintenance procedures or equipment functionality.