The Radiology department at Trinity Community Clinic – Western Dakota recently updated its x-ray services through the addition of a wireless digital plate, which will shave time off x-ray procedures in the Williston clinic.
Heather Riely, BSRT (R) (M), RDMS, radiology supervisor, noted that the wireless digital plate, which replaced the previous phosphorus plate, makes it faster for all involved – the doctor, the radiology staff, and most importantly, the patient – as it provides a quick turnaround and an excellent image quality for x-rays. Now x-ray images are ready “within seconds,” whereas before, the film would need to be processed. It would take anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds to process the plate; now, with the digital plates, it only takes two to three seconds.
While that doesn’t sound like much of a difference, time-wise, it can add up. “If I’m doing a lumbar x-ray, and you’re doing five x-rays, it can take about five minutes,” Riely said. “It’s faster by at least half the time, if not more.”
The amount of radiation produced using the wireless digital plate is generally 70 to 90 percent less than when done with film, she said.
Additionally, Riely pointed out, the digital images allow the radiologist to manipulate the image, whether zooming in, magnifying, or reverting. “That helps them do their job better,” she said.
This technology works on all x-rays performed at Trinity Community Clinic – Western Dakota. Riely noted that chest and orthopedic (joints, knees, and back) x-rays make up the majority performed at the clinic.
Trinity Community Clinic – Western Dakota is considered one of the higher volume clinics within the Trinity Health system when it comes to x-rays. Over the past 12 months, 2,424 x-rays have been performed there, Riely said. In addition to performing x-rays for the providers at the clinic, they are also done for the Veterans Affairs and outside providers. “That’s why we stay pretty busy,” Riely said.