By Frank Lockwood

Staff writer

HERMISTON — New imaging equipment at Good Shepherd means instant images for patients, better quality of pictures for doctors, and savings on storage space for the hospital.

Good Shepherd Medical Center was one of the first hospitals of its size to obtain a Picture Archiving Computer System. Installed about three months ago, the new system includes picture archiving and better communications services for such things as X-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine.

The 1.3 mega-pixel screens give large, clear images in which MRI shows three dimensional "slices" or pictures of the inner workings of the patient's body. The system includes both computer screens and CD burners so that a patient's distant doctor can be given a CD of his or her pictures.

The machine also converts conventional X-ray to the computer, uploading the images from cassettes into the computer system. The X-rays can then be computer-enhanced for brightness and contrast, resulting in better images, or burned onto a CD.

The advantages are:

? Patients can take exams to physicians out of the area on a CD. This CD has a program that downloads itself and brings up the exams on any computer with a CD drive. (For the full story, please see the December 31, 2002, issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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