In an effort to better serve patients and save money, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital will no longer be stored x-rays on film, the county announced on March 13. Instead, the radiology department will be taking one step forward technologically and storing all x-rays on what it deemed “a secure system” that the hospital will maintain.
Aside from saving an estimated $50,000 this year - mostly stemming from the elimination of hundreds of square feet of film and other materials used to process x-rays - and an even larger projected savings as a result of increased efficiency in years to come, the switch to digital imaging will also eliminate any potentially environmentally damaging chemicals used in photo processing. This service will also allow physicians to view x-rays minutes after they are taken, rather than days. The change officially happens on March 24.