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Mobile x-ray machines bring digital tech to the wards

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New mobile x-ray machines are bringing digital technology to the wards of Palmerston North Hospital, and improving the patient experience.

​While mobile x-rays have been in use for some time, it has been necessary to take the x-ray image on the ward, then return the machine so the image can be processed and analysed. Not only does this take longer, but if the image isn’t quite right, it requires a whole trip back up to the ward, using up valuable staff time, and disrupting patients.

With these new machines, the images are digital, allowing the technician taking the image to immediately see it, and analyse whether it is correct or not. If it’s not, the technician can simply take another image. If the images are correct, the machine can upload the images straight away; meaning they can be seen immediately by clinical staff involved in the patient’s care. With the rollout of the wireless network at Palmerston North Hospital, the machines will be able to immediately upload the image to the picture archiving system for clinicians to access.

It’s not only the wards that will be benefitting from this new technology, with theatre also seeing many improvements over the old devices. The ability to get better quality images, in a much shorter space of time, allows them to have the most up-to-date information when performing surgery on patients.

MDHB’s Team Leader, Medical Imaging Di Orange says the new technology is a real step up.

She said: “A big part of looking at new technology for the organisation is finding machines that will provide a great improvement in the patient experience. These new x-rays do exactly that, with a process that is faster, safer and involves less disruption for the patient than the previous analogue machines.”

The mobile machines are used frequently throughout the hospital to avoid having to move patients from the ward, down to the medical imaging department for an x-ray.

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