X-ray Vision For Maine Health Care Providers | Blogs

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X-ray Vision For Maine Health Care Providers
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X-ray Vision For Maine Health Care Providers

I was once an x-ray tech at Maine Medical Center. I didn’t have x-ray vision, but I was skilled at aiming a beam of radiation at the appropriate body part. When I first started my training, we developed the x-rays by hand. I still remember the smell of the chemicals in the darkroom. It was a big deal when we switched to automatic processing, but we’d still have to go into the darkroom to unload the film from the cassette and feed it into the processor. Patient’s x-rays were kept in large brown envelopes in the radiology department’s file room. When space got tight old films were carted off to a storeroom someplace else in the hospital. You can just imagine the storage nightmare.

When I read that HealthInfoNet was doing a pilot project to create a statewide archive for radiologic images, it caught my attention. The plan is that x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, mammograms, and other images taken at various facilities around the state will be stored in a single archive. Now that will be one huge file room!

A notable difference is that it will be an electronic file room, because the image files are now digital. We’ve come a long way since those days of hand developing x-rays! But considering that an estimated 1.8 million medical images are generated in Maine every year and that the files can be pretty big, storage space is still a huge problem. Read more.

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