You’ve slipped on the sidewalk and injured your ankle. You rush to the closest urgent care center to get it checked and make sure you haven’t broken any bones, only to find out that there aren’t any X-ray capabilities at the urgent care facility.
This is nothing short of a horror story in situations when you’re pressed for time, and what’s worse is that it’s a real life story.
For today’s urgent care facilities, X-ray imaging is an integral part of the diagnostic and treatment services you need to meet patient care needs.
With advances in imaging modalities and user-friendly X-ray units, urgent care clinics can achieve exceptional image quality on a modest budget.
The Introduction of DR Technology
Digital radiography (DR) systems use flat panel detectors as the digital imaging sensor, eliminating the need for cassette used in conventional and computed radiography. DR technology combines superior image quality with speed, enabling the physician to capture a digital image within 4–20 seconds.
Digital X-ray systems offer a wide range of advantages over Computed radiography (CR) cassettes, including faster image acquisition and higher volume capacity. More importantly, digital imaging modalities require less radiation per exposure.
Let’s look at some other ways digital radiography can be an essential addition in urgent care clinics:
Patients that come into urgent care clinics require immediate diagnosis so that they can be put on a treatment plan right away—and digital X-ray systems can help physicians achieve that.
On-site DR systems can diagnose a multitude of problems on-the-spot, from assessing dislocations and stubborn coughs to diagnosing kidney stones.
What’s more, digital X-ray systems have dynamic resolution range and exposure latitude. The technology allows physicians to adjust the contrast and magnification of the image for better diagnostics—and thereby, offer improved patient care in urgent care clinics.
Advanced DR systems, like ExamVue digital X-ray systems, allow for image sharing using PACS. This means that the primary physician can share the patient’s X-ray images with specialists for better diagnosis.
DR systems offer superior throughput compared to CR systems because of their ability to embed the imaging processing cycle in the image acquisition task—producing images as quickly as 5 seconds. Since more images can be taken and processed within the same amount of time, physicians are able to handle more patients in a given period.
In fact, DR is slowly eclipsing CR as the common X-ray option because it is much faster, uses lower radiation dose and doesn’t require removable cassettes.
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