Time comparison of intensive care units with and without digital viewing systems.
As hospital radiology departments and intensive care units (ICUs) make plans to use or expand the usage of digital data outside of the radiology department, the need to assess the requirements of the potential recipients in the ICUs has become more important. The present operations in an ICU that uses digital viewing instead of film has been compared with a unit that does not. The difference in time between x-ray exposure and final image viewing was determined in both settings and compared. In this preliminary study, significant differences were found between the two units. The odds of having examination results actually accessed by the ordering physician in an hour or less were 9.5 times greater for the unit with digital viewing capability than for the one without it.