Retention laws have made it impossible to completely get rid of your x-ray film library. Medical centers are required to retain their x-ray films for a set number of years. The number differs between state and type of x-ray (pediatric, general x-ray, etc.). Digital Radiography has become the standard over x-rays and has given facilities the ability to view images in both a cost and time effective manner.
In order to create space, the option to store offsite has become more appealing to hospitals and clinics. Some professional storage facilities have the ability to convert archival films into digital copies and send them to the medial centers through a secure network. The process is relatively simple; authorized personnel can request a patient’s file from the storage facility, the storage facility pulls the patient’s file, digitizes the archival film requested, and sends the digital copy to the medical center.
Other industries that are taking interest in digitizing films include aerospace, military, and other industrial fields. When inspecting airplanes, pipelines, industrial trucks, etc. an x-ray may be taken to ensure the quality of the work. Retention laws in these fields could last the entire lifetime of the object/structure.
Instead of storing the films, these industrial companies can have their x-ray films digitized and saved onto a CD. This enables them to view all of the x-rays at one time rather than searching for each film individually.
If you are interested in freeing up space in your office or warehouse, digitizing is a great way to both clear up the file room and hold onto x-rays that have not reached their retention life-cycle.