9 Things to Consider Regarding F/S Radiography
Limited Dynamic Range: Conventional F/S radiography relies on a combination of exposure factors and characteristics of the film and screen utilized to determine contrast and density levels. This range is limited and all pertinent information in the image may not be displayed.
Image Manipulation: Once processed, the contrast and density levels present on the film are fixed. The user does not have the ability to adjust these values to display additional diagnostic information.
Processing Variations: Radiographic film is subject to variables in processing conditions. Variations in temperature, chemical activity and transport time will result in inconsistent display of images.
X-Ray Exposure Factors: Contrast and density on conventional F/S systems are determined by the mAs and kV factors utilized. Relatively minor variations in these factors may render the radiograph non-diagnostic. The resultant repeat examination increases dose to both patient and operator, increased material cost and inefficient use of technologist time.
Distribution Cost: Film is bulky and the cost of handling and distributing to areas where needed for diagnosis is high.
Storage Cost: Archived X-ray film requires a significant amount of space for storage. With construction cost approaching $150 per square foot for typical office space, the cost of long term storage cost for radiographs is significant.
Clerical/Administrative Cost: Conventional F/S systems require the use of ID cards to imprint pertinent patient information on the film, file jackets to store and transport film files, clerical time to file patient jackets and time to retrieve folders when prior images are needed for comparison to a current study. These administrative cost add to the overall total “cost of operation” for a F/S system.
Lost Films: Typically, studies on F/S systems only exist as the original study. In many instances, films are lost which may result in substandard patient care if prior studies are not available for comparison and in worst case, may have negative legal implications.
Environmental Impact: Processing solutions contain chemicals that may be detrimental to the environment.
Although conventional analog F/S radiography has proved to be a reliable method to record images, the above drawbacks have led the industry to search for alternatives.
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