The Indian healthcare industry is growing at a rapid pace to support a growing elderly population, rising incomes and changing disease profiles, posing many challenges for care providers. About a year ago, my facility in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, faced crowded lobbies and high patient dissatisfaction driven by our five minute turnaround time for a single X-ray.
To streamline workflow and improve patient satisfaction, in May 2011 Siddhant Diagnostic Center became the first healthcare institute in India to install the CARESTREAM DRX-Ascend System, an advanced digital radiography system designed for small to mid-size imaging centers like ours.
After two days of training, our technologists were up and running on the new system and more than a year later the overall impact of the newly installed CARESTREAM DRX-Ascend System on our patient’s satisfaction has became evident to me in more ways than one:
1. Flexible positioning for more patient comfort: The woes of patients and technicians due to limited machine flexibility in complex x-ray exams are over. The Carestream DRX detector allows free-position studies like cross-table lateral hips, knee-joint axial, cubital joint lateral, etc. The DRX detector can be easily moved from the wall stand to the table for supine exams. The wide float-top table has has allowed technicians in our Center to place large patients on the table and position them comfortably. Our technicians can also lower and elevate this table to accommodate wheelchair and emergency patients conveniently.
2. Immediate image preview: Our patient exam time has been reduced with the availability of image preview within five seconds and a complete image within 20 seconds, giving our doctors the ability to offer immediate diagnosis.
3. Advanced display cuts down repeat exams: Technologists have the ability to view exams, change techniques and previous images on a touch-panel screen mounted on the tube stand. This allows our technicians to select x-ray procedure parameters standing near the patient. From there the technician can confirm whether the image has been properly acquired or if a repeat exam is needed. This saves time, cuts down on repeat exams and can lower patient exposure to radiation dose.
Thanks to the CARESTREAM DRX-Ascend System our imaging time has reduced from five to two to three minutes, leading to a decrease in patient wait time and improved patient satisfaction. It has also positioned the Center well to accommodate the growth in India’s healthcare system. The reduced imaging time has enabled us to conduct 50 percent more x-ray examinations than what we completed before the installation of the DR system, giving us much-needed productivity boost.