A new x-ray technology has been rolled out to Lithgow Hospital in an Australian first.
The x-ray, described as ‘new generation and low dose’ will generate clearer images more quickly.
Chief Radiographer at Lithgow Hospital, Michelle Bostock, said the new x-ray machine was in use 24/7 for emergency scans and both the x-ray and ultrasound machines were available for non-urgent scans five days a week.
Ms Bostock, who has been a radiographer at Lithgow Hospital for over 30 years, said the $700,000 x-ray machine and two new ultrasound machines have been rolled out to deliver cutting-edge diagnostic services, locally.
“The new equipment and staff recruitment means patients living in Lithgow and nearby can now easily get an appointment without travelling out of town,” Ms Bostock said.
More than 400 ultrasound scans and 1,200 general x-rays are performed at Lithgow Hospital each month.
The two new ultrasound machines have helped to dramatically reduce waiting times for non-urgent scans from several weeks to less than two days, Ms Bostock said.
“The new x-ray machine, the first of its type installed in Australia, exposes patients to much lower doses of radiation while providing clearer images almost instantly.
“This means our patients spend less time getting their scans done and their doctors have the images often before the patient has left the x-ray room.
“Advances in imaging have been extraordinary and I’m proud our community can benefit from the latest technology at their local hospital.”
A contract with Alfred Imaging also provides local staff with a link to highly trained specialists based in Sydney for virtual consultations and reviews of digital scans.
“Patients receiving ultrasound or x-ray scans at Lithgow Hospital are receiving care equal to that offered by major hospitals in Sydney,” Ms Bostock said.
Up to 36 times a week, Lithgow Hospital’s ultrasound machines are also used to guide visiting specialists to perform biopsies, treat tendon and joint pain and conduct vascular procedures.
“We are using the latest equipment and highly skilled clinicians to give our patients and their doctors the best diagnostic services available,” Ms Bostock said.