At T&K X-Ray Consultants, Inc. we are grateful for the opportunity to share world-class equipment with chiropractors and veterinarians in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Colorado, and nationwide, because we know that it helps you provide excellence in patient services.
Whenever we do an x-ray installation, we cannot help but think of the benefits that top quality images have for the chiropractors and veterinarians. While this article will feature mostly chiropractic information, our veterinary clinics will have the same benefits from digital x-ray in their offices.
In the latest comprehensive survey we could find, A Survey of Chiropractic Practice, published in January, 2015, and conducted by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, found that “About fifty percent (50.1%) of chiropractic practitioners take radiographs in their offices; almost one third of these (14.1%) use digital imaging equipment.1” This study was an in-depth view of chiropractic trends from 1991 to 2014, based on surveys completed by 1,379 chiropractors from across the U.S.
This means that roughly two-thirds of all chiropractors could benefit from upgrading to digital imaging equipment. There are several reasons why upgrading from analog X-rays to digital X-rays is beneficial.
Digital Is Faster And Easier To Use
Film x-rays were invented in 1895. That’s over 125 years ago. Technology has come a very long way since those first x-rays 125 years ago, and film x-rays are now quite antiquated.
The capabilities of digital radiography allow for increased patient throughput. More patients can be moved in and out in less time, streamlining your operation. Workflow is also optimized.
Digital is better for the environment because they don't require developing.
Digital can be viewed on a computer monitor within seconds of taking the image.
Digital can be enhanced and enlarged for better diagnostics.
Digital can be sent to other providers in an instant via email or on discs.
Digital can be placed in your electronic patient file for immediate retrieval
Digital can be shown to the patient right on screen in the adjusting suite – no need for lightbox
2. Image Clarity
At the basic level, what is an x-ray?Simply put, x-rays are nothing more than different shades of gray on a screen. That screen can be either analog or digital. Think of comparing an old black and white TV to a new HD TV with all of its picture clarity, quality and color. With digital x-rays, providers are able to see with more clarity, what they could not see before.
With film, if an image is unreadable, a retake is usually the only way to get clarity.With digital technology, image enhancement provides an even closer look than was possible with film. So, even if the technician’s image capture is close, you will have usable images.Very typically, the only time digital images are rejected is due to anatomy positioning errors.
Thus, image clarity lends itself to improved efficiency, less waste, and a better evaluation tool for the provider.
3. More Anatomy - More Images
Think of Digital X-ray as similar to camera technology -- cameras of the recent past, all used to use film to produce images. Now most cameras on the market are digital and produce digital images.
You already know what the benefits of digital pictures over film pictures are;
There is no sending film out to a lab for processing
The images are clearer and can be easily expanded, sharpened or tweaked
There is the immediate satisfaction of not having to wait for your pictures.
Plus, your pictures can easily be stored on your computer or in multiple places, unlike a negative which is easily lost or damaged (or in the case of a provider’s office take up physical storage space)
The same is true of digital x-ray when it comes to technology. Going hand-in-hand with clarity, is the fact that with digital, you will simply capture more anatomy, take more images, and have less waste.
4. Patient Safety
Digital radiography systems reduce the x-ray dose compared to traditional CR systems. Of course, the benefits of this cannot be overstated in terms of long-term health and well-being. Radiation exposure can be reduced by up to 40 percent, and in some cases, even more, depending on the specifications of the system.
One such benefit comes from The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) that was signed into law on April 14, 2015, in an effort to “make it easier for physicians to earn rewards for providing high-quality, high-value healthcare, and it supports and rewards physicians for participating in new payment and delivery models to improve the efficiency of care. ” 2 In the latter part of this Act there is a call for newer, more technologically advanced systems that in turn affect a healthcare professional’s level of Medicare reimbursement if that particular factor is unmet.
In addition, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (enacted in December 2015), discusses reduction in reimbursement for plain film X-rays by “20 percent in 2017 and all subsequent year” and also reducing computed radiography reimbursement by 7 percent from 2018 to 2022 and 10 percent thereafter, according to the American College of Radiology. Thus, the only way to receive full reimbursement is to switch to digital imaging (direct radiography or dr imaging).
What challenges is your Chiropractic (Veterinary) office facing? Are you delaying your upgrade to digital X-rays due to cost, space, fear, or any other reason? At T&K X-ray, we can take the mystery out of upgrading. We will work with you through the entire process, including finding a budget-friendly solution, planning the space and X-ray room layout, and providing personal technical support for the lifetime of the product.
Give us a chance to help you upgrade to digital x-ray today.
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