X-Ray Film Scanners and Digitizers, X-Ray Film Scanning Services and Software

Taking Your X-Ray Film Digital

posted Jun-25-2014

x-ray-tech-smallWhether you’re are a user of medical X-rays or of industrial X-rays, there are benefits to be gained by eliminating your old X-ray films and going digital. But before you can reap those benefits, you have to decide just exactly how you’re going to get from film to digital.  Let’s look at the benefits first:

Benefits of Going Digital

If you currently store your X-ray film files on site, the first and most obvious effect of eliminating the film files is the improved use of space.  If you rent storage facility space off-site, digitizing your X-ray film archives eliminates the ongoing rental fee for the space.  In addition digital X-rays:

  • Streamline work flow because there is no longer the need to physically file and retrieve the film as it is needed for review, referral or comparison.
  • Provide a low-cost and efficient way to store, view, duplicate, share and distribute X-rays.
  • Free up physical office space and even allows for less square footage or takes away the need to rent storage space. This change can vastly reduce overhead expenses.
  • Cut down on operational costs, because of lessened storage retrieval costs.
  • Allow resource allocation which can provide the opportunity to grow your business while remaining efficient and customer oriented.

So now that you’re convinced about the benefits, what’s the best way to go from film to digital?
Unlike scanning paper, digitizing X-rays requires additional expertise, both in the scanning (digitizing) process and in the ultimate destruction of the X-rays.  Can you do the job in-house, or should you outsource?

In-House or Outsource?

Deciding whether to purchase the equipment and digitize your X-rays yourself, or outsource is a straightforward calculation of time, effort and expense:

How many X-rays do you have?  If you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of X-rays, you’re better off outsourcing the project.    An experienced X-ray scanning service can provide a comprehensive range of services to help your move to digital X-rays, including the proper equipment for the job, trained personnel, as well as being able to assist you in disposal and recycling challenge presented by the X-ray film themselves.

How much free time does your staff have?  And how much room do you have to work?  Two of the main reasons for going digital is to streamline your work flow and reduce space constraints caused by the storage of X-ray film.  This is one instance where it doesn’t have to get worse before it gets better.  Unless you have staff that’s eagerly looking to take on extra work because they don’t have enough to stay busy, as well as more room than you need in your offices, it’s far better to have the X-ray digitization done off-site.  The X-ray scanning service company can arrange for pick-up of your X-rays, as well as proper disposal, and can deliver the digital images to you via CD.  Some services can even store the images for you in the Cloud, for access anywhere, anytime.

That’s why it’s important to ensure that the X-ray scanning service you choose meets all of the requirements you need from start to finish.   For instance, if you are a medical office, you will need to ensure that the X-ray scanning service you hire adheres to the privacy regulations required by HIPAA.  If you are a user of industrial X-ray equipment, doing radiographic non-destructive testing, you will have similar privacy concerns related to the projects or products that your company is developing.   For both medical and industrial X-ray applications, hiring an X-ray scanning service that adheres to specific rules regarding customer privacy is essential.
In addition to the assurance of customer privacy mentioned earlier, an X-ray scanning service should be able to:

  • Convert your x-ray images into a variety of file formats recognized by various third party applications and PACS systems.  Some of the file formats you may need are:  jpg, gif, tiff, pdf and DICOM files.  An experienced X-ray digitizing firm should be able to accommodate nearly any file format request.
  • Be prompt in both pick-up requests and delivery requests.
  • Provide your digital files in a method that is convenient for you, either via CD, FTP, or Cloud transfer.
  •  Handle large jobs as well as small jobs
  •  Use only high-quality, reliable X-ray film digitizers, designed to accommodate the type of X-rays that you have.
  • Guarantee the quality of the scanned files
  • Offer a certified X-ray destruction and recycling service

As with any change, prior thought and planning will enhance the outcome.   The important aspect of going from x-ray film to digital is making sure that the decisions you make are right for your company.  Consider consulting an expert before you begin the process.


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