Thursday, July 10, 2008

Look Mom! I'm a Digital Star!

Not too long ago, my eight-year-old daughter Evie and I had check-up appointments with our physicians. I was feeling great, but had recently developed a slight pain in my right hand. I let my physician, Dr. Glaspey, know and he ordered an x-ray of my hand to see if there might be any sign of arthritis. The next day I took Evie to her pediatric physician, Dr. Laguerre. Because my daughter is especially tall for her age (thanks to my 6’6” husband!), Dr. Laguerre ordered a bone-age study to make sure she was growing at the correct rate. I learned that bone age is measured through an x-ray. As a result, Evie and I found ourselves scheduled for hand x-rays at the Martin Memorial Diagnostic Center. This was going to be a great field trip for us! It was quite challenging trying to explain to her how an x-ray works (how does it work?!). She felt less nervous knowing that mommy was going to be getting the exact same thing done to her hand.

Everyone was so friendly at the Diagnostic Center. While there, I learned that virtually all of the diagnostic tests at Martin Memorial had become “digital” through a system called PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System). That means almost all imaging test results are viewed by the radiologists via computer on large flat screens. Gone are the days of big films hanging in front of light boxes with physicians peering close to get a better look. The change from films to digital is equivalent to the revolutionary change of snail mail to email! Martin Memorial Diagnostic Images can now be shared and diagnosed “real time” by physicians from one end of the Treasure Coast to the other.

As I was leaving, the front desk informed me that I could get a copy of our x-rays burned to a CD. The learning experience continued as our family viewed the digital images on our home computer. The image clarity and detail were amazing! The next day, my daughter loaded up the CD’s in her backpack and brought them to her second grade class for show and tell. When she came home, she proudly recounted how her entire class huddled around her teacher’s desk to get a closer look at what the latest in diagnostic imaging technology has to offer…an amazing digital picture of her very own bones!

--Jenny Flaugh
Marketing Representative

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