Friday, August 31, 2018 Written by Jennifer Bender

Digital Radiology (DR) Upgrade

Prairie Lakes Radiology has been busy with a Digital Radiology (DR) upgrade this last year. “The DR imaging service enhancements touch all of our general radiology patients,” said Jenna Hulscher, PACS Administrator. “We have created a more comfortable and convenient imaging experience for many of our PLHS patients with the ability to do exams portably with instant images.”

Summary of what DR offers to patients, physicians, and technologists:

Quality of Services

  • Radiation dose to patients will be greatly reduced as Digital Radiography (DR’s) technology advancements utilize lower x-ray techniques, decreasing the radiation dose to the patient and scatter radiation dose to the staff. Improved bariatric and pediatric imaging.
  • DR portables have prior image reviewing capabilities that allow technologists to duplicate imaging parameters to allow for a more accurate comparison for inpatient sequential testing.
  • After the exposure, patient’s images will display on a digital viewing screen on the portable within seconds and the technologist will be able to perform QC functions and annotation of the exam before its sent for Radiologist interpretation.  If a repeat is necessary, there is next to no delay in patient care. 
  • Bone removal capabilities on chest x-rays to rule out bony lesions that appear to be in the lung fields or catheter/line enhancement filters that will make PICC lines stand out against the soft tissue background to show exact placement so they can be adjusted sooner and then utilized by nursing staff earlier.

Increase Customer Satisfaction

  • Patients are increasingly aware of issues related to radiation dose levels especially with Radiography exams.  Patients will have peace of mind knowing they are receiving the lowest dose possible.
  • Patients will have faster exams due to technology that automatically aligns the x-ray tube with the grid placed behind/underneath the patient reducing steps that the techs have to take prior to exposing the patient.

Physician Satisfaction

  • Improved imaging and faster turnaround times in surgery decreases the length of time that patients are sedated for certain cases.
  • During trauma, surgeons and ER physicians can view the images instantly as they display on the portable unit.  With only a 3-5 second delay for initial viewing of images on portable studies, physicians in the ER, OR and/or PICC nurses will be able to act on image findings close to real time.