From the November 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
By Tsuneo Imai, Contributor
As new technologies emerge in the radiology space, one could say that diagnostic imaging facilities using CR technologies are considering upgrading their radiology rooms to DR more than ever before.
The discussion of transitioning from CR to DR is currently a hot topic for radiology offices, as the benefits of using DR, as compared to CR, are realized, including improved workflow, increased resolution and a lower X-ray dose to the patient. For diagnostic imaging facilities still using CR, such as private practice locations, the capital investment needed to upgrade their technology to DR or possible disruptions to their normal operations during this upgrade may explain why these facilities have been hesitant to transition.
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Since more radiology practices and hospitals face the question of whether this transition is right for their facilities, let’s take a look from an overall standpoint of how DR technology can positively impact day-to-day efficiency and potentially increase patient satisfaction. These are the top four benefits that come to mind:
In numerous studies involving patients and workflow, facilities utilizing DR were able to care for additional patients because of the reduced number of processes required to obtain an image. This streamlined workflow can help meet the increasing demand for diagnostic imaging procedures without additional capital purchases and/or the need to hire additional personnel.
Low X-ray Dose to the Patient
Studies have confirmed that facilities with DR technology can and do see a reduction in patient X-ray dose, while enjoying equal or greater imaging quality when compared to CR technology. According to the May 2011 issue of Clinical Radiology
, most facilities that use DR technology are experiencing dose reduction of approximately 50 to 60 percent in comparison to CR. I believe X-ray dose reduction and limiting annual X-ray dose to patients are going to be key metrics in 2017 as the FDA adopts new regulations directed to reducing X-ray dose. Having to include X-ray dose on the patient image should drive facilities to adopt lower dose technologies, which benefits both patients and technologists.
Improved Resolution and Fast Scanning
The increased resolution of DR technologies over CR technology may decrease the need for multiple X-ray exams to achieve proper diagnoses.