Reducing Retake Rates and Exposures in General Digital Radiology

Reading Time: 6 minutes read

Carestream customers realized average reject rate reduction of 16%. (1)

Do you know that, on average,18% of imaging exams require retakes? (2). Repeating imaging exams increases the workload of your radiographers who are already stretched too thin; increases the exposure of the affected patients; and contributes to patients’ reduced confidence and satisfaction with your imaging department.

Keep reading to learn how Carestream Health’s Smart Room Assist and Smart Room features on the DRX-Compass X-ray System can help your staff reduce incorrect exposure settings and patient positioning errors – the primary causes for retakes in general digital radiology.

Reduce errors in exposure settings

Fifteen percent of retakes are due to exposure issues, according to a report by the American College of Radiology. (3) To help reduce this number, Carestream’s Smart Technique automatically selects the appropriate acquisition technique based upon the patient’s size. This feature alone can eliminate up to 492 retakes every year, saving your imaging staff more than 24 work hours each year. (Each retake requires about three minutes).

Reduce errors in patient positioning

Image of woman being positioned for  spine imaging exam
Customers using Carestream Smart Assist features realized an average reject rate reduction of 16% from their current rates. (4)

Precise patient positioning in radiology is essential to obtaining accurate diagnostic information to aid in effective patient care and for reducing a patient’s X-ray exposure due to retakes. A small cough or slight shift in position by a patient can lead to inaccurate alignment. Carestream offers numerous valuable Smart Assist features to help reduce these errors in patient positioning. During customer site evaluations, radiology departments using these helpful positioning features experienced an average reject rate reduction of 16% from their current rates. (4)

Patient-Position Monitoring: Radiographers can monitor their patients from the operator console through a live camera view to see if the patient has moved out of position and correct it before capturing an image that is less than optimal. Making adjustments prior to image capture contributes to reduced retake rates and exposures.

“Patient Position Monitoring lets me see more easily if the patient is in the optimum position for the exam, helping to reduce the likelihood of retakes,” said a Registered Radiologic Technologist (RT(R)) at a trade trial site in Chicago. 

Positioning Overlay: This feature displays Automatic Exposure Control (AEC) cells and the detector boundary on the console to help the radiographer determine if the patient is properly positioned, and to adjust as needed.

“Positioning Overlay shows us the detector boundaries so we can adjust if needed for optimum patient positioning which improves image consistency,” explained a Senior Radiologic Technologist (RT(R)) at a second testing site, a large hospital in Pennsylvania.

Put Carestream’s Smart Room features to work for your facility.

Align Assist: From the console, radiographers can check alignment between the tubehead, detector, and tubehead angles to more quickly—and accurately—confirm positioning when the detector is outside of the bucky. Additionally, radiographers can verify alignment between the tubehead and detector from the tubehead display to correct out-of-bucky shots to avoid retakes.

Audio Assist: From the console, radiographers can communicate back and forth remotely with patients to seamlessly guide them through the procedure, answer questions, and confirm precise positioning.

“The Audio Assist makes it easier for radiographers to hear the patients. This is especially helpful in our busy department where we have multiple radiographers all speaking to their patients,” explained the Senior Radiologic Technologist (RT(R)) at the Pennsylvania hospital.

Video Assist: Using a supplemental monitor with photos and videos, facilities can display positioning guide photos to help patients properly position themselves for exams.

In addition, Carestream offers two additional features that utilize AI to help verify correct patient pose and positioning, leading to further reductions in retake rates and exposures.

Smart Patient Positioning augments the live camera view with overlays for patient position correction/verification and pose verification. This allows for more accurate alignment and consistent image acquisition.

Smart Auto-Position uses camera input to assess the patient’s height and automatically moves the wall stand and tubehead vertically into the correct position.

Reducing anatomy clipping

Clipped anatomy – sometimes caused by patient movement or errors in patient positioning – is another cause for retakes. Additional Smart Room Assist and Smart DR features help address this problematic issue.

Smart Collimation:Automatically adjusts the collimation field based on the detector size and patient position to provide image consistency and help reduce anatomy clipping and retakes.

Virtual Collimation: Virtual Collimation allows the radiographer to further adjust the collimation from the console to reduce radiation exposure to the patient and avoid clipping anatomy – helping to contribute to fewer retakes and less exposure.

“Virtual collimation is helpful to make adjustments from the console when the patient has moved after I leave the exam room,” explained a radiologic technologist in the Chicago healthcare facility.

Virtual Long-Length Imaging: Allows the radiographer to set and adjust the auto-LLI exposure region from the operator console on the live camera view – helping prevent anatomy clipping to reduce retakes.

In addition to driving down retakes, the Smart Room Assist and Smart Room features can help increase radiologists’ confidence in the quality of your radiographs. Another important benefit of these powerful features is their impact on enhancing the user experience for your radiographers and your patients.

“The Smart Room Assist features on DRX-Compass add significant value to the imaging process. They help streamline workflow and also ease the physical stress on our radiographers,” summarized the Senior Radiologic Technologist at the Pennsylvania hospital.

I hope you found this overview of software features that can help you reduce retake rates and exposures in general digital radiology useful.

Ron Muscosky is a Product Line Manager at Carestream Health. He has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare/medical imaging.

Learn more: Image Capture Basics for Radiology Technologists


1During customer site evaluations using Carestream DR Smart Room Assist features.

2  Uni­fied Database for Rejected Image Analysis Across Multiple Vendors in Radiography. Kevin J Little, Ingrid Reiser , Lili Liu, Tiffany Kinsey , Adrian A Sánchez,  Kateland Haas, Florence Mallory, Carmen Froman, Zheng Feng Lu.

3 Uni­fied Database for Rejected Image Analysis Across Multiple Vendors in Radiography. Kevin J Little, Ingrid Reiser , Lili Liu, Tiffany Kinsey , Adrian A Sánchez,  Kateland Haas, Florence Mallory, Carmen Froman, Zheng Feng Lu.

4 During customer site evaluations using Carestream DR Smart Room Assist features.


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