Although many Veterinary Practices still use X ray films that are processed in chemical baths, our Hospital Surgery at Maple Street was upgraded to digital radiography a couple of years ago and this month marks the end of old fashioned X ray film at Donaldson’s surgeries as the last of our four surgeries has now been upgraded to digital.
The benefits of Digital Radiography are clear. The sophisticated software allows the image to be manipulated in order to allow detailed analysis of different tissue densities on the same X ray plate. Labels and annotations can be added to the X ray and it is possible to zoom in and create a magnified view to examine an area in greater detail.
The digital archiving of X-rays is an enormous benefit. At one stage, we had rooms full of X-ray films which we filed in case they had to be referred back to at a later date. Now, the x ray can be retrieved at the click of a mouse on any screen within the surgery.
X rays can be viewed at different surgeries within the Donaldson’s group and so a Vet working at one of our other surgeries can view and give an opinion on an Xray that has been taken at another surgery.
X rays can also be emailed to specialists such as those at Liverpool and Nottingham University Veterinary Hospitals for a faster response – no more waiting on the post to deliver radiographs.
In Practice, we avoid the need to use X-ray developing chemicals which need special handling and can be dangerous to health and there is less environmental impact as the chemicals do not need to be disposed of.
Across all the surgery sites in the group, the role out of digital radiography has been a very expensive process but the improvement in clinical care, ease of accessing archived X rays, improved safety and reduced environmental impact will without doubt make that investment worthwhile.