The use of digital imaging within a veterinary practice offers distinct benefits for all types of practices. There are also other benefits to be had, which depend on the type and size of system you choose, and the nature and size of your veterinary practice.

Universal benefits

1. Reduced need for retakes

Digital radiography sensors reduce errors related to poor or incorrect exposure. While not eliminating the need for retakes altogether, the exposure latitude is far greater than that of conventional film based methods. The degree of exposure latitude varies in digital imaging systems, with some leaving little room for error while others offer far wider latitude for exposure errors. This should be a primary consideration when selecting the system. Those with a wider latitude will typically generate high quality images with greater consistency.

2. Easier external consultation

When a referral to an external specialist is required, uploading a digital image is as easy as sending an email with an attachment, unlike having to package a traditional radiograph and physically mail or deliver it to an external consultant. This means a valuable saving in terms of both cost and time when external referrals are a common part of practice procedures.

Other potential benefits

Certain other benefits may only be achieved either based on the individual digital radiography system deployed or as a result of the type and size of practice run.

3. Cost savings

Real savings can be made in terms of the cost per case imaging costs due to the fact that no film is involved in the imaging process. There is also no need for physical storage space for radiograph file storing, and lower maintenance costs for digital systems. These savings will be more noticeable for larger veterinary practices and those which depend on referral to external specialists frequently, as these practices typically make more use of imaging diagnostics within their procedures.

Auxiliary cost savings

Whilst these savings are less tangible and quantifiable, they are still real, and result from less time being spent filing, searching and retrieving film by practice staff. In larger veterinary practices this can be substantial while in a smaller practice it may be less so.

4. Ease of application

Digital imaging systems are far easier and quicker to use than conventional film-based radiography. The need for education and training of staff in order to obtain consistently high quality images is greatly reduced, and this also contributes to greater throughput.

5. Greater efficiency

Studies have shown an increase in throughput in veterinary practices where digital imaging systems are deployed. According to experts such as www.photon-imaging.com, in the case of larger veterinary practices or those which refer a substantial volume of images for external consultation; this can represent a significant improvement in efficiency within the practice.