Radiographs or x-rays are one of the oldest forms of medical imaging. As the medical field has continued to grow and advance, digital x-ray imaging has begun to replace the traditional x-ray films of the past. Read on to learn how digital imaging has benefits for both the patient and the medical provider.
Less Radiation Exposure
When x-rays are taken, the patient and the medical staff are exposed to specific levels of radiation to acquire the necessary image. This level of radiation is considered safe, but when compared to traditional x-rays, digital imaging decreases the exposure by over half. This can be a significant decrease in exposure amounts, especially for staff members who may take x-rays multiple times a day.
Increases in Efficiency
With traditional radiographs, the picture is taken, and then it must be developed to see how the image turned out. Depending on the technique used by a facility, this could be a time-consuming process. Digital imaging allows the image to be processed in an instant and then projected onto a computer screen. Additionally, if there are any concerns about the contrast or clarity of a film, they can be adjusted within the computer program without distorting the image. If a traditional x-ray does not process as expected, additional x-rays may have to be taken. This increases not only time but also radiation exposure for all involved.
Increases in Sharing Capability
If a doctor wants to refer a patient, they will typically need to send the x-rays to the consulting doctor. Digital x-ray imaging allows this to happen with a click of a button. Whether sent over email or shared through a specific computer program, the consulting doctor will not have to wait for x-rays to be hand-delivered by mail or by the patient themselves. This allows for better collaboration between doctors which increases the quality of care for the patient.
By providing enhancements in patient care, digital imaging has replaced traditional x-rays as the gold standard of care.