Simi Valley Hospital Makes $1.7 Million Investment in Digital Technology
Over the coming months, Simi Valley Hospital (SVH) will install a $1.7 million, tandem system called computerized radiology (CR) and picture archive computer system (PACS). Those components will fully digitize the process for X-rays, mammograms and other imaging technologies that, up to this time, have remained in the conventional film format.
“Digital systems are the standard of care these days, so this is absolutely huge news that we’re getting this new equipment. This can make an enormous difference in patient care for years to come,” said Monica Berlin, administrative director of ambulatory care services.
The CR component of the new system will be up and running by early summer. CR replaces the film used to capture X-ray images with a plate that records each image in a digital format. This completely eliminates the need for film.
The digital CR images are uploaded into the second component of the system, PACS. This digital format offers a number of outstanding advantages over conventional film storage:
- Digital images can be categorized and retrieved more quickly and easily than film images.
- Images can be lightened, darkened, moved around on the screen, and so forth. This will help to reduce the need to re-shoot X-rays, saving time and lessening radiation exposure for patients.
- Images can easily be copied to a portable format, such as CD, while retaining a duplicate of the image in the archive.
- Most significantly, a physician or other authorized caregiver can view the image anywhere in the world via the Internet.
For example, if an Emergency Department patient requires an X-ray, a physician can view the image right there in the Emergency Department — eliminating a trip to the radiology department. Moreover, the patient’s primary care doctor will be able to view the image at his or her home or office via computer. The same advantages apply to mammograms taken at the Nancy Reagan Breast Center.
Funding for this project came from SVH’s corporate parent, Adventist Health.