Emergency department digital radiology: Moving from photos to pixels

Faber A. White, Frank L. Zwemer, Christopher Beach, Per Lennart Westesson, Rollin J. Fairbanks, Gary Scialdone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Emergency department (ED) patient care relies heavily on radiologic imaging. As advances in technologic innovation continue to present opportunities to streamline and simplify the delivery of care, emergency medicine (EM) practitioners face the challenge of transitioning from a system of primarily film-based radiography to one that utilizes digitized images. The move to digital radiology can result in enhanced quality of patient care, reduction of errors, and increased ED efficiency; however, making this transition will necessarily involve changes in EM practice. As the technology evolves, digital radiology will gradually become ingrained into everyday practice because of these and other notable benefits; however, EM practitioners will need to overcome several challenges to make the transition smoothly and consider the potential impacts that this change will have on ED workflow. The authors discuss the benefits, challenges, and other operational considerations involved with the ED implementation of digital radiology and close by presenting guiding principles for current and future users. Despite the unresolved issues, digital radiology will mature as a technology and improve EM practice, making it one of the great information technology advances in EM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1222
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2004


  • PACS
  • diagnostic imaging
  • digitized images
  • emergency department
  • radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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