May 23, 2018

Digital X-ray Upgrades in Five Rural Hospitals

X-ray equipment in five rural community hospitals is being upgraded from film to digital images, supporting quicker diagnosis and improved care for patients.

“Our government is committed to improving access to high-quality medical imaging across Saskatchewan,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “Digital images save time for physicians and patients, and result in patients receiving their  x-ray results quicker than ever before.”

The Saskatchewan Health Authority is in the process of digitalizing the x-ray equipment in Lanigan, Rosthern, Wadena, Watrous and Wynyard.  It is anticipated that full implementation, including equipment upgrades and renovations, will be complete in fall 2018.

Digital images can be quickly shared between physicians and specialists across the province.  A diagnostic interpretation by a radiologist can then be provided within minutes.  This eliminates the need to transport film images to be read by a radiologist, which can take days.

“This technology investment is an important step for Saskatchewan Health Authority as we begin to fulfill the vision of better co-ordination of health care services across the province,” Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said.  “As one organization, our intent is to improve systems so employees and physicians can focus on what they do best, which is patient care and support.  By improving access to medical imaging, we are on the right path of ensuring our province’s hospitals are able to coordinate their services to ensure patients receive high-quality, timely health care, closer to home.”

The Government of Saskatchewan contributed $500,000 to upgrade x-ray equipment from analog radiography to digital radiography in these five sites.  The remaining $500,000 in matching funding (approximately $100,000 per site) was provided by local health foundations to cover the costs associated with the equipment upgrade, infrastructure and renovations.

“Strong community support helps our health system meet the need for specialized services across Saskatchewan,” Ottenbreit said.  “Our government thanks the local communities, and their respective health foundations, whose generosity is helping make these digital x-ray upgrades a reality.”