Portable X-ray Machines: 4 Benefits That Increase Patient Care Potential

Conventional radiology rooms serve a definite purpose in patient care. However, despite their enormous capabilities, these fixed locations are not without their limitations.

Many medical practices are turning to the benefits of portable X-ray machines to increase versatility, add convenience, and improve their patient care capabilities.

A woman wearing scrubs pushes a large, wheeled portable X-ray machine. Portable X-ray machines offer a number of benefits that increase patient care.

The benefits of portable X-ray machines include the following:

  1. Portability
  2. Versatility
  3. Ease of use
  4. Image quality

Let’s take a look at these 4 benefits more carefully.

1. Portability

Obviously, this is the main point of portable X-ray machines. They can be moved from place to place because they aren’t anchored to a specific area within the facility.

By taking advantage of this benefit, doctors can image patients in their exam rooms rather than having patients move from room to room, or deliver care to patients outside the facility, which:

  • Increases workflow efficiency
  • Increases the number of patients that can be seen
  • Makes visits easier on injured or very ill patients
  • Allows doctors to visit patients off site in cases where patients are in conditions that would prevent or hinder them from traveling to a facility

Portability provides other benefits as well.

2. Versatility

Since the machine can be moved, X-ray services can be delivered and diagnoses made in critical situations or circumstances that previously presented serious complications due to patients being unable to reach a hospital or medical facility, such as the following:

  • Military operations at training sites or in the field
  • Disaster relief operations
  • Sporting events and venues
  • Prisons or other facilities for detaining individuals
  • Elderly individuals, particularly in nursing facilities
  • Homebound individuals
  • Rural clinics without radiology equipment
  • Veterinarian visits to farms or other facilities housing animals

The portable X-ray machine’s life-saving potential to overcome locational barriers that previously hindered making a diagnosis and providing rapid, effective treatment on the spot is one of its most important benefits.

3. Ease of Use

A major benefit of portable X-ray machines is their ease of use due to their intuitive design.

Considering the situations above, where portability is critical, we can see that the equipment may need to be operated efficiently in dangerous or chaotic circumstances where mistakes can have very serious consequences.

Portable X-rays also share digital image information with ease, seamlessly interfacing with most picture archiving and communications systems (PACS). This will aid emergency room or urgent care clinic staff in treating patients more quickly upon arrival by ambulance.

A smiling woman in pink scrubs pushes a portable x-ray machine.

4. Image Quality Regardless of Location

While ease of operation is obviously critical, whether or not a portable device can deliver images of sufficient quality to be effective is a key question that must be answered.

In a recent study, researchers found that only 1 out of 241 radiography examinations had to be repeated at the hospital because of underexposed images, while image quality for the rest of the images taken by portable X-ray machines was adequate for diagnosis.

It’s not expected that portable X-ray machines will provide the image quality of a DR (digital radiography) or MRI machine at a fully-equipped medical facility. Instead, the portable X-ray is a viable and effective alternative when circumstances require mobility.

Portable X-ray Machines Increase Patient Care Options

It’s easy to see that portable X-ray machines benefit patients who are in life-threatening situations and require immediate treatment wherever they are, possibly needing an on-the-spot diagnosis that requires an X-ray image.

Portable X-ray technology makes that urgent treatment possible.

In addition, it increases the general patient care capabilities of smaller clinics and facilities that treat patients who cannot be easily moved, which benefits both the patients and the medical staff.

Southwest X-Ray Offers Portable Radiology Solutions

There are situations where it’s far more beneficial, even critical, for the care to travel to the patient, rather than the patient traveling to receive care.

At Southwest X-Ray, we understand that every medical practice or facility has unique needs that will require individualized solutions.

If the benefits of portable X-ray machines that we’ve outlined describe the needs of your medical practice or facility, or if you’re looking to expand your patient care possibilities, contact one of our sales representatives. Click here to get started today.

Shad Merchant

Shad Merchant is an industry veteran with experience in every aspect of the X-ray and imaging industry, having spent over 20 years assisting small medical practices, massive hospital systems, and everyone in between, all over the world, to find the right imaging solution for their needs. Contact him at shadm@swxray.com to learn more about what equipment is right for you.

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