PURPOSE: To determine whether soft-copy interpretation of computed radiography (CR) in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units (ICUs) can result in a cost savings compared with screen-film radiography for the radiology department. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The actual cost of CR equipment, maintenance contracts, and the estimated cost for data storage were compared with the potential savings that could result from eliminating film, decreasing the number of librarians and lost radiographs, and improving technologists' efficiency. RESULTS: After the 1st year, net cash flow from use of soft-copy CR interpretation is projected to result in a slight savings for the radiology department but not enough to offset the capital equipment purchase price. CONCLUSION: Soft-copy CR ICU imaging will not result in a cost savings. To have a balanced net cash flow would require either more than doubling potential savings or decreasing capital equipment cost by greater than one-half. The justification for soft-copy CR needs to be judged by its effect on increasing physician efficiency and timely decisions on patient care.
- Economics, medical
- Picture archiving and communication system (PACS)
- Radiography, computer-assisted
- Radiography, storage phosphor