As x-ray imaging has moved from Analog to Digital technologies, so to has the means by which x-ray images are created, viewed and stored. Computed Radiography (CR) or Direct Radiography (DR) systems are fast replacing Conventional film processors. The reusable detector(s) supplied with digital systems have replaced film and chemistry to develop an electronic image stored in DICOM format.
In an Analog world, you would never consider simply stacking all your films on top of your desk and letting them pile up until there’s no more room would you? Unfortunately, in the sometimes overwhelming transition to Digital – this is what’s happening with the electronic films you’re creating. CR and DR systems are configured with workstations that offer a short-term means to “archive” images on the computer’s local hard drive until it becomes filled. In an effort to trim costs and “break in” to Digital imaging there is often a strong temptation to ignore PACS or dismiss it altogether. While there are ways for a small practice to survive without a PACS, there can also be devastating consequences.
Computer hardware will eventually fail and unlike other machines it gives little warning to prepare you.