When the Clinic relocated to the Regional Medical Art Pavilion (RMAP) in 2007, Montana Orthopedics installed the first GE Definium 8000 digital x-ray unit in Montana. This new equipment represents a considerable leap in technology over conventional film x-ray units.
Direct digital radiography is a type of digital x-ray where the conventional x-ray cassette and film are replaced with a digital imaging sensor known as a detector. DR is equipped with a fixed detector that translates the x-ray radiation directly into an electrical charge. The charge is sent to a processing unit which assembles the image onto a monitor which is viewed by the patient’s physician.
Images generated by the GE equipment are the best in the industry allowing for a more accurate diagnosis of the patient’s medical issue. Equally important, patients receive a lower radiation dose than either regular film x-ray or CR digital x-ray. The equipment also allows studies to be stored or transmitted digitally.
X-ray images are viewed on a computer monitor immediately after the x-ray allowing the provider to manipulate images for improved diagnosis and patient education. We commonly provide a paper copy of the x-ray for the patient to take with them.
With the immediate image acquisition and no imaging plates or cassettes to develop, DR increases efficiency by eliminating the need to develop x-rays. After an exposure, x-rays can be viewed significantly faster, making the patient’s experience less time consuming and safer. This is why patients will see DR employed at fixed locations with high volumes such as orthopedic clinics.
Higher speed from advanced DR equipment, lower radiation doses for patients, and higher quality x-ray images mean improved care.