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December 22, 2006

Sherman Goes Digital:
Radiology Department Conversion Begins in January

As 35mm film and VHS tapes slowly go the way of the 8-track, so eventually may x-ray films, darkrooms, chemicals and developers. Recognizing the importance of staying at the top of the technological ladder in chiropractic education, Sherman College has charted a path to the digital x-ray.

Beginning in January, Sherman will make the transition to digital x-ray processing. This $350,000 capital investment will not only be a great improvement on the college’s technological front, but it also will make significant improvements in the areas of course presentation, intern learning experiences and patient service and care. Total conversion will be complete in July 2007.

“Sherman students will be learning the newest technology available, both in x-ray courses and in practical applications as interns in our on-campus Chiropractic Health Center,” says Sherman Radiology Department Chair Laura Greene-Orndorff, R.T., D.C. “This is a great advance in both the information and convenience it provides,” she adds.

In addition to gaining knowledge and skill in this digital radiography technology, students (and practice members) will benefit in the following ways:

• Images can be taken faster and results will be immediately available for  
   interns and staff doctors.
• Overall quality will be improved because technical errors in contrast and
   density can be adjusted at the terminal.
• Radiographic information will be more secure from loss and unauthorized
• Analytical tools and templates such as those for Atlas Orthogonal analysis
   are available through the Viztek x-ray analysis software, and individual
   analyses are stored in separate data files that can be used without affecting
   the original image. Marking images in this manner is also estimated to save
   up to 20 minutes on some studies (tools include window/level,
   magnify/zoom, flip, rotate, pan, horizontal/vertical compare, multiple screen
   viewing, annotations, measurements, presets, cut-lines, 3-D slices, CD
   burning and more). The college will purchase Blair analysis software and 3-D
   viewing instruments.
• The cost of this new technology will be offset somewhat by savings in film,
   processor maintenance, chemicals, filing supplies and filing room labor.
• Time and physical space used for filing and viewing x-ray films will slowly
• Community service will be improved as Sherman plans to expand its
   radiography service to field practitioners by offering same-day service on
   taking and interpreting radiographs. Radiographs and interpretations will be
   sent immediately to the referring doctor via e-mail and radiographs can be
   viewed on any quality computer monitor.

Recognizing that not all students may be able to afford this technology immediately following graduation, Sherman College will continue to teach traditional x-ray processing. The college retains the capability of taking film x-rays because the x-ray unit remains the same. X-ray analysis courses will focus on the new digital process to be used in the Sherman College Chiropractic Health Center.

As is the case with other technological advances, the cost of digital imaging will soon be within the reach of the practitioner in the field. To prepare practicing chiropractors with the background knowledge necessary to approach this technology, the x-ray department will present a special workshop on digital x-ray for doctors attending Sherman College Lyceum 2007, to be held May 24-27 on the college campus.

The college’s first Orex CR digital reader will be installed mid-January, as will a diagnostic work station including side-by-side 14x17 viewers. There will be no downtime in the conversion process. Sherman College Health Center x-ray supervisors, faculty and leading x-ray interns (XRIs) will participate in various training sessions to learn the new process.

An additional part of this upgrade includes converting one of the college’s x-ray “viewbox-reading” classrooms to a computer lab for x-ray analysis. Computer stations also will be added to the student clinic and the intern ready room for the sole purpose of digital x-ray analysis.

Sherman Radiology Department Chair Laura Greene-Orndorff, R.T., D.C., in the x-ray viewbox room that will be converted during next year's digital upgrade.

Laura Greene-Orndorff, R.T., D.C., looks forward to the technological upgrades and enhanced teaching opportunities that the conversion from viewbox to on-screen digital x-ray analysis will bring.

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