High-tech upgrade for hospital X-ray equipment
Patients to benefit as digital X-ray machines are installed at Canterbury and Concord hospitals
New high-tech digital X-ray equipment has been installed at Canterbury and Concord hospitals.
Radiographers at the two hospitals take hundreds of 2D X-rays each week to assist doctors caring for patients in the Emergency Department, hospital wards and outpatient clinics.
“The Digital Radiography (DR) machines use the latest technology. These advances mean there’ll be advantages for our patients and for the doctors treating them too,” Tat Poon, acting chief radiographer at Concord Hospital, said.
Tat has worked in the radiography department at Concord for the past 25 years and has witnessed the rapid changes in technology firsthand.
“X-rays used to be taken on film and chemicals had to be used to develop the images. That equipment was phased out a long time ago,” he said.
“Then Computed Radiography (CR) machines were designed. They involve the use of imaging plates and cassettes. On the older models, you need to manually process an image before you can view it on a computer. It’s time consuming.
“Now, when radiographers use DR machines they can take a patient’s X-ray at the press of a button and instantly view the image on a screen in front of them. The image is a lot clearer and sharper too, which helps clinicians to better assess a patient’s condition and make a diagnosis.”
The images are stored permanently on secure servers and a clinician can easily review them again using reporting stations if needed.
“Storing images in digital format in servers saves a lot of space compared to X-ray films,” Tat said.
His colleague, Haitham Zirein, the chief radiographer at Canterbury Hospital, said the new machines further reduce a patient’s exposure to radiation.
“The DR machine has features that significantly improve the patient experience. Notably, it offers a substantial radiation dose reduction to the patient,” Haitham said.
The equipment has other pluses for patients too.
“The table can be lowered to assist less mobile patients getting on and off, while a standing option provides the flexibility required for procedures ranging from paediatric to bariatric patients,” Haitham said.
“The equipment is easier to set up due to the automatic features, further improving the patient experience and reducing procedure times.”
Three of the Digital Radiography (DR) machines have been installed at Concord and there is one in place at Canterbury.