Posted Feb. 17, 2014
By Mike Odgren
A lot has changed since 1995, when I entered the Quinsigamond Community College radiography program as a first-year student. We were using nothing but film/screen for imaging, and my primary clinical site was still using a Schonander film changer for angiography studies. All of a patient’s films and reports were kept in the patient’s jacket in a file room.
During my second year of school, one of our clinical sites implemented a CR imaging system. This was such big news that our entire class took a field trip to that hospital so we could learn a little bit about this new technology.
Jump forward to today, and you would be hard pressed to find a hospital that is not using CR and DR imaging. Film/screen has practically become a thing of the past, and so has the radiology file room. In their place are PACS with large storage servers and EMR systems that automatically link a patient’s imaging procedure to the radiologist’s report. Efficiency and reductions in radiation dose have improved because of these new technologies.
Also, the ability for health care workers and patients alike to access online information about medical conditions and procedures has worked to advance the knowledge of all of us. Patients are better informed and able to make educated decisions about their care. This also puts more responsibility on us as technologists to be better informed as well.
Some of the newer technologies available include the ability to view imaging studies from mobile devices like an iPad. There are also cloud-based storage solutions for organizing your interesting research and informational articles.
I personally love using a program called Mendeley. It is a free, cloud-based, reference manager and academic social network. Using Mendeley, I can store papers and articles I want to have easy access to. The articles I have stored are available on my computer and on both my iPad and iPhone in case I need to find them quickly at work.
In our profession, technology changes constantly. Tell me what you like about this changing technology, and also be sure to let me know which programs and apps you can’t live without. I’ll check them out!