Mobile X-ray technology revolutionising care at Blackpool Victoria and Lancashire Cardiac Centre
Two new CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution mobile X-ray units have been installed in the main imaging departments at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and the Lancashire Cardiac Centre, both part of the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
The trust serves a population of approximately 440,000 residents across Blackpool, Fylde, Wyre, Lancashire and South Cumbria and the North of England, while the Lancashire Cardiac Centre provides heart and lung treatment for the people of Lancashire, Cumbria and beyond. The trust has around 830 beds across all sites and the radiology department performs a total of more than 136,000 examinations per year, 10,000 of which are mobile exams.
The cardiac centre undertakes around 12,500 of these examinations, with more than 5,000 being carried out using mobile X-ray units.
The CARESTREAM DRX-Revolution Mobile X-ray System is powered by a wireless DRX detector to enable faster and better mobile imaging and doing away with the need to process CR cassettes in a separate processing area by delivering the X-ray image wirelessly to the PACS from the patient’s bedside.
A major factor in the decision to purchase the new Carestream Revolution units was feedback received from radiographers after they had used and evaluated mobile units from different manufacturers. Radiology clinical manager at Blackpool Victoria, Lesley Stanney, said: “We used a robust questionnaire covering different criteria which included the ergonomics of the mobile unit, image quality, Wifi coverage and ease of use. Radiographers awarded points for each of the criteria and there was an opportunity for them to make additional comments.”
The overall benefits to clinical staff, particularly in the intensive care setting, are immense. They are able to view images as they appear and make clinical decisions immediately and this, of course, has a direct positive impact for the patient in terms of their care
Prior to purchasing the Carestream Revolution, the cardiacc had two mobiles which used CR cassettes, with a viewing room available on each floor for processing images. One of the Revolution units is currently located in the intensive care unit while, in the main hospital radiology department, the Revolution is used primarily between intensive care, HDU and the stroke ward to maximise the PICC line software. The department has retained several of the older units which use CR imaging plates and still require the radiographer to return to the department to process the plates.
“Driveability and manoeuvrability of the Revolutions is excellent,’ said Terry Gadallah, superintendent radiographer at the Cardiac Centre, “so much so that staff prefer to use the Revolution and move it between floors and wards rather than revert to using the original mobiles. The retractable vertical column is an asset, as is the 270-degree rotation on the column and the length of the extendable horizontal arm, all of which make the unit very versatile.”
Stanney added: “Image quality is very good. The exposure factors being used are producing images with good penetration of the mediastinum while maintaining visualisation of lung detail and contrast.”
From an image management viewpoint, the radiography team at Blackpool Victoria have also found the reject analysis software to be extremely informative, with information recorded on how careful the radiographers are in positioning the detector and an impact score awarded.
Stanney said: “The clinicians are extremely impressed with this. In fact the overall benefits to clinical staff, particularly in the intensive care setting, are immense. They are able to view images as they appear and make clinical decisions immediately and this, of course, has a direct positive impact for the patient in terms of their care. If an image has to be repeated for any reason, it can be done immediately with minimal discomfort for the patient since the detector is still in situ. In fact the clinicians on intensive care actually seek out the radiographer to view the images on the Revolution rather than going to a PC and using PACS.”