CR, which refers to computed radiography, is a modern method used in the medical fields to replace film x-rays and other medical images taken on film. As personal computers and other electronic devices have become relatively inexpensive, the cost-effectiveness and accessibility of digital imaging has also improved. By using a CR system, physicians can enjoy many benefits that come from digital medical imaging.
Digital imaging has done away with the cost and hazard of using the developing chemicals necessary with film images. Digital image capture is also very quick; it takes only a matter of seconds to preview your digital image to ensure that it will work for diagnostic purposes, and if doesn’t, you can quickly take another with the patient.
Digital image viewing is greatly enhanced over viewing film images, most notably because the diagnostician can edit the digital images while film images are static. Just like users can edit digital images on a personal computer, technicians can make brightness and contrast adjustments to digital images taken with a CR system. Zoom, tilt, pan and other features bring the specific areas of the digital image into clearer view, which helps in producing more accurate diagnoses, and improves overall patient care.
Digital images are stored on CDs and DVDs, or they can be stored on servers. These servers can be at the medical facility for easy access, although additional servers may be placed off site, which allows for better disaster recovery. When you consider the time it took to manually file patient folders and to retrieve them, as well as the large amount of storage space needed to hold them for seven years as required by HIPPA rules, moving medical images to digital storage makes a great deal of sense. The images can be retrieved in a matter of seconds, and you can automate storage so that you do not have to think about it each time you handle a patient file.
With film x-rays, hard copies of the images would need to be sent in the mail to a consulting physician for a second opinion or specialized help with difficult diagnoses. This is all in the past with digital imaging when the CR solutions include a PACS that is online. Then the digital images can be sent to consulting diagnosticians virtually anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse, at a fraction of the cost of mailing film images in seconds.
Dicom offers a full range of CR solutions designed to meet the specialized needs of your medical facility.