The Pet Threat: Why Pets Need X-Rays

Why should you have your pet x-rayed? Because x-ray imaging is the most effective and least invasive way to make sure your pet is as healthy on the inside as he or she appears on the outside. X-rays reveal and help diagnose health issues that we humans are otherwise not able to see, and certainly our barking and meowing friends cannot bring to our attention. Continue reading

How To: Find the Best NCT Course for You

If there’s an industry that is highly dependent on proper education, it’s the medical industry. And it’s no different for radiologists. This is why it can get overwhelming for those who aspire to be in the industry. Among the many questions are “How will I choose the right NCT course?” and “How do I know which one will benefit me the most?”

Here are three things to look for when choosing an NCT course:

Class Size

The NCT course is the first big step toward your radiography career, so it’s important to get a proper educational foundation. The last thing you want to do is to try to comprehend that large amount of information in a class where you get no personal attention. So, make sure the student-to-instructor ratio is small.

Be sure to ask your instructor what kind of specific skills you’ll have after course completion. Why? Because if the answer doesn’t make you believe that you will be well prepared, then another NCT course is better for you. Some courses are designed simply to pass students through the gates, so to speak; but the purpose of the class should really be to make you ready for a career.

Instructor Experience

Find out what your instructor’s background and experience is within the radiography field. Do they currently practice? For how long have they been practicing? What kind of education have they completed themselves? These are all important questions that you should be asking before signing up. After all, the degree of knowledge your instructor has correlates strongly to how much you will learn in the course.

Up to Date Curriculum

Your textbook should be easy to understand and up to date. It should especially incorporate all the requirements under the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) curriculum, which includes information on x-ray science and techniques, processing, radiation safety, radiographic anatomy, patient care, pathology and step-by-step instructions for positioning. With all of these lessons properly covered, the ASRT exam will be a piece of cake for you!

All Star X-ray’s NCT Training

At All Star X-ray, our mission is to educate ancillary medical staff in technique selection, radiation protection, radiographic anatomy and positioning in order to produce the best-quality radiographic films possible. We keep our class sizes small, our instructors have years of experience, and we only use textbooks that meet the ASRT requirements. So, don’t put your radiography career on hold any longer; sign up for a class today!

When Is the Right Time for New X-ray Equipment?

Now that we’ve passed into the new year, healthcare professionals have a prime opportunity to re-devote themselves to their patients, drawing up new goals about how to provide better care. With so many clinics, private practices and hospitals rethinking their budgets, now is the best time to invest in some of the updated radiography and x-ray machines that are on the market right now.

xray machines for the new year

The Right Time

The sooner your practice invests in top-of-the-line radiography equipment, the better it is for your patients. Everyone deserves the fastest, most accurate imaging so they can get to the root of their pain and begin the correct treatments as swiftly as possible. X-rays often play a central role in diagnosing everything from sprains to cancer. Out-of-date machinery can throw off the results and prolong receipt of the necessary therapy.

When it comes to health, there is only one “right time:” Immediately.

For patients with potentially serious conditions, early detection may be the only factor that leads to a recovery. They – and their loved ones – trust you to do whatever it takes to preserve their health. You owe it to them to provide nothing less than the very best care at every stage of the diagnosis and treatment process…and yes, that means researching and installing only the very best equipment.

The Right X Ray and Radiography Equipment

When it comes to x-rays, look for models that promote optimum patient comfort while simultaneously providing the clearest imaging for you. Of course, every practice has its unique time and budget constraints. But fortunately, there are affordable, high-quality options for every clinic, hospital and private practice – including portable options which rival their stationary counterparts.

Lightweight, portable digital imaging provides quick, clear radiography in a way that maximizes patient comfort while minimizing the amount of space necessary to use it. Larger machines bring larger results, making them more suitable for analyzing wider expanses of the body. But no matter what, accessibility and visibility are non-negotiable qualities. No matter what your setup is or what your patient’s condition is, you need expedient results with enough clarity to either accurately assess the problem or rule out possibilities.

There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to radiography equipment. All Star X-ray understands the technology and has over 13 years of experience helping practices of every size find the most suitable items for their needs.

The Right Choice

Start 2014 by dedicating yourself to doing whatever it takes to offer your patients nothing less than top-quality service. All Star X-ray’s industry-leading line of new and used radiography equipment comes in every shape, size and price range to help you ensure the fastest, most accurate readings. If you ever need an in-office demo of what some of our products can do, we have a portable DR panel at our disposal and would be more than willing to showcase its features to you and your staff.

All Star X-ray offers comprehensive assistance across the entire process, from consulting about the best x-ray equipment to installation and repairs. Contact us today.

Provide Better Value. Get Bigger Savings.

It’s the perpetual conundrum. Save money? Or spend more and get more reliable radiography equipment? Choosing between budget and peace of mind is never an easy decision, and there’s not always a clear solution. However, this time of year your practice can actually pull off both! Before the new year begins, dedicate yourself to serving your patients and protecting your bottom line. (Yes, you can do it without skimping on diagnosis and treatment!)

Start the New Year on a Healthy Foot

Every clinic, hospital or private practice should set its New Year’s resolution to revolve around offering the best possible radiography equipment for its patients. Make upgrades or replacements before January to start the year off with the sure and steady footing of state-of-the-art medical equipment. This is actually the most fiscally prudent investment you can make.

Purchasing high-end x-ray machines and other radiography resources ensures that you won’t need to constantly seek out upgrades or replace parts when things aren’t running perfectly. It may cost more on the front end, but this strategy ultimately saves you money in the long term. And if your business has been blessed with an end-of-year surplus – wouldn’t it be best to put the extra cash toward something that will generate more savings for next year?

The best equipment makes it far easier to diagnose – and subsequently treat – patients. Unreliable imaging can cause some serious problems in the treatment process. Fortunately, now’s the ideal time of year to start reconfiguring your radiography setup.

Healthy Savings

As a bonus, if you purchase x-rays for your practice before the end of the year, you will be able to write it off on your next tax form. Section 179 allows you “to deduct … the full purchase price of financed or leased equipment and off-the-shelf software that qualifies for the deduction.” The official site for Section 179 has more detailed instructions about how much of the equipment you will be able to include once you go to file taxes. No matter what, just make sure you complete your purchase prior to New Year’s so that you qualify.

We’ve Got Your Back

There are only two weeks left until 2014! If you want to fulfill your promises to patients and save a little on the bottom line without compromises to quality, then please contact us for a free quote. We’ll help you with every single step of the decision-making, installation and maintenance process – and make sure you receive the best deal on the best brands.

Should Radiologists Have More Face Time with Patients?

The American College of Radiology (both the associated journal and the leadership) has been making a major push toward encouraging radiologists to spend more face time with their patients. Despite technological improvements, professionals in this particular corner of healthcare have an unfortunate reputation for being isolated and impersonal. A lack of visibility is hamstringing the radiology industry and it needs to be stopped.

The Problem

Because of the comparatively “remote” nature of their work, radiologists do experience a degree of stigma within the medical community. Unlike physicians and nurses, their contact with patients is minimal. Imaging is done through ancillary staff. The Imaging Technologist will most always have more patient face time. Radiologists interpret the images following the exam. Unless there is an invasive procedure such as a biopsy or contrast induced study, the radiologist will likely never personally interact with the patient. Radiologists aren’t detached, but the nature of the technology they employ can certainly make them appear as such.

Over time, this has created some degree of cognitive dissonance that stops patients – and even some medical professionals – from appreciating and connecting with the radiologists who do life-saving work. The American College of Radiology wants to change things to the point that patients actively ask to see their favorite radiologists the same way they do specialists, nurses and GPs. It can happen – provided a few changes to the process get made.

The Solution

The faster the technology, the more face time radiologists get with their patients. Hospitals, clinics and other medical facilities able to afford more instantaneous imaging are at an advantage in this area, but the simplest, best solution can be integrated into the mix by absolutely anyone.

Much of the public is unaware of how radiology works. Part of the issue stems from the fact that those receiving x-rays and other digital images believe their physicians, not the radiologists themselves, are the ones who look over the results and make judgment calls. In reality, radiologists actually play a major role in the diagnostic process – it just gets overlooked! Education leads to appreciation, and spending 15 minutes talking with patients about their conditions and related procedures makes all the difference. It not only keeps them informed about what they can expect, but helps them have greater confidence in their radiologist. Greater visibility requires greater communication.

Let All Star Be a Part of It

All Star X-Ray supports efforts to bolster the prominence and appreciation of radiologists. That’s why we supply top-of-the-line imaging equipment from a wide range of industry leaders, at affordable prices and accompanied by full consultation, installation and repair services. Schedule a free consultation with us today and give your practice – and everyone involved – a major boost.

The Best Way to Stop Breast Cancer

Every October, there’s one health issue everybody is focused on: breast cancer. The success of Breast Cancer Awareness Month lies in the fact that it reminds men and women to visit a doctor for cancer screenings – just to be safe.

Breast cancer screenings lower the death rate of the devastating disease by up to 30 percent. Research unequivocally indicates that catching lumps before they grow or spread is the most effective strategy for treatment.

Early Detection

Early detection is key when treating breast cancer, with the survival rate increasing exponentially the earlier the cancer is found. Women and men should perform comprehensive self-examinations at least once a month, and undergo mammograms at least once a year. However, physicians might require more frequent screenings if they deem a patient at a heightened risk of breast cancer because of family history, overall health, lifestyle or some other factor.

But recent findings show that “early detection” also holds a different definition. Mammograms used to be reserved for women between the ages of 50 and 74, since that is the most vulnerable age group. But younger patients with breast cancer actually experience the disease with heightened aggression, even though their risk is technically lower.

Men and women alike need to head in for screenings as early as 40 if they hope to catch what might be a particularly virulent case before it metastasizes. For someone with a family history of breast cancer, starting screenings as a 20-something is not too soon.

Prevention

Lifestyle changes cannot cure breast cancer before it develops. What they can do, though, is lower the chances of development, or chip away at the disease’s aggressiveness. Adapting a healthy diet and exercise regimen is a major decision toward cancer prevention. Patients should work directly with healthcare professionals to find lifestyle solutions that work for their bodies, their schedules and their specific medical needs.

In addition, they must remain mindful of family history. Diagnoses are much easier to make when doctors are made aware of any genetic components that could dictate what kind of treatment to pursue. Any time new information about family history comes to light, healthcare providers need to know, as this information might prove a complete game-changer.

The Right Equipment

Effective radiology equipment means effective diagnoses. Contact All Star X-ray today and learn more about our products and installation, maintenance and training services. Let us help your practice save lives.

Philanthropy in Ghana

All Star X-ray owner Cheryl Gray recently returned from a philanthropic trip to Ateiku, a small village in western Ghana with a population of about 200,000 people. Thanks to the efforts of Reverend Lawrence Oduro and his lifetime commitment to serve the people of Ateiku, Western Region, Ghana; he rallied the financial support for the purchase of the unit through various donations, industrial organizations and personal financial dedication.

The Donations

The system purchased for Christina Adcock and Sons Hospital was a Cuattro CloudDR Portable System, a digital radiography machine that utilizes a cloud-based interface to store and share x-rays with healthcare professionals around the world. This unique, wireless feature makes a world of difference for the hospital’s patients, who can receive input, advice and even diagnoses from specialists thousands of miles away if necessary. And thanks to its portability, the staff doesn’t have to worry about losing premium storage space.

All Star X-ray Philanthropy in Ateiku

Gray donated her time to help train the community’s radiologists – Mills (laboratory technician), Lawrence (medical technician), Abraham (medical technician for outpatient care) and Chris (medical technician for outpatient care) – all of whom rose to the occasion and performed spectacularly. Normal NCT courses, like the ones offered by All Star X-ray, take about nine weeks to complete. The training at Christina Adcock and Sons took five days, but involved the same level of comprehensiveness and quality.

What This Means

The Cuattro CloudDR Portable System’s compact size makes it easy to store, and it’s powerful enough to help keep local workers and families healthy. And thanks to the cloud, radiologists at Christina Adcock and Sons Hospital can wirelessly share imaging with healthcare professionals around the world should the need arise.

Christina Adcock and Sons Hospital currently treats up to 100 patients a day, with 80 beds for overnight or extended care. As it stands now, the institution’s size is not enough to support another conventional x-ray machine needed to support the community and its fairly large population.

The hospital is currently constructing its second wing, which will house a conventional x-ray machine All Star donated in 2009. Once completed, Gray will return to Ateiku to offer up more in-depth radiology training.

If you are interested in donating money, equipment or time to Christina Adcock and Sons Hospital, please visit this website for instructions and information.

The Future

All Star X-ray is looking forward to continuing its support of the Ateiku community. We are also available to help you with your radiology needs, regardless of whether you run a clinic, private practice or hospital. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help you with the sale, installation and maintenance of your x-ray equipment.

Radiological Imaging to Help Drug Addiction

In a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” society, it’s difficult to ask for help, especially when it comes to battling addictions. Maybe not just difficult … it’s almost unheard of. There is a “get over it” mentality that plagues modern society to the point that sympathy is a dying fashion.

When studying rhetoric surrounding addictions, it’s easy to see the negative attention it gets. To say that someone is a “junkie” or “abuses drugs” reinforces a negative feeling for that individual’s circumstances. It doesn’t allow us to see the person apart from their actions. Yes, they are associated with a certain circumstance, but they still need help. They are people, and they can still be considered “patients” in need of just as much help as any other person.

Consider another type of “patient,” for example, a cancer patient. The rhetoric surrounding cancer is similar to that of warfare – it’s dignified. “She is battling cancer,” or “He lost his fight with cancer.” We tend to almost magnify the “struggles” associated with this disease.

Drugs can cause much destruction to the body over time, much like cancer. They can kill instantly or over a period of time, also characteristic of cancer. Drug related illnesses are just as damaging to the body as cancer, but for some reason, we honor those who “battle” one disease and not the other. While the argument can be made that cancer patients don’t choose to have cancer, most drug users do not choose to stay drug users. The chemical balances in the body change once exposed to drugs the same way that chemical balances change when exposed to many forms of cancer. Both are a force of internal issues that need to be addressed, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, namely in the positive results seen thanks to radiological imaging for a vaccination against cocaine addiction.

ITN’s article, “Cocaine Vaccine Gets a Boost With Molecular Imaging” on vaccinations for those addicted to cocaine provides a bit of good news. If therapy and rehabilitation prove unsuccessful, PET scans have shown that the vaccination may provide another alternative to help drug users win their own “battle.”

These advancements show that radiology constantly progresses and provides solutions to problems that plague our society. Whether patients of cancer, drug use, or even something as simple as a headache, we can rest assured that radiological imaging will help us find the cures and diagnoses we need. For help finding the x-ray equipment your practice needs, call on our team at All Star X-ray. We are proud to take part in providing your patients the best care possible no matter their disease.

Section 179 Tax Savings Explained

If you are a small to medium sized business owner with your own medical practice, there has never been a better time to invest in imaging equipment and software. Thanks to Section 179, qualifying companies can deduct up to $500,000 for tangible goods purchased before the end of year. This includes new and used machinery, like X-ray machines or film processors, and software such as a PACS System. The main limitation is that the equipment or software must be purchased and put in use by December 31, 2011.

Potential Savings

How does the Section 179 Tax Deduction work? Here is an example: XYZ Company has revenues of $900,000 this year. After standard deductions, the taxable amount is $450,000. To take advantage of the Section 179, the company purchased the maximum allowable dollar amount of equipment that they could deduct, which for 2011 is $500,000. XYZ Company can now write an additional $150,000 off the bottom line taxable amount of $450,000 as a savings. This savings can be viewed from two different perspectives: 1. It is a less taxable amount to the IRS. 2. More importantly, it is a significant savings on the equipment necessary to make the office run more efficiently.

Total Revenue For 2011 $900,000
Deductions for 2011 $125,000
Taxable Revenue for 2011 $775,000
Capital Equipment Purchased for 2011 $500,000
Section 179 Tax Credit for Capital Equipment Purchase $150,000
Section 179 Tax Credit – Taxable Revenue $775,000 – $150,000 = $625,000

To learn more about this deduction, visit www.section179.org, and to calculate your potential savings, check out this Section 179 Tax Deduction Calculator.*

All Star Savings

When making your next imaging equipment purchase from All Star X-Ray, you can expect a wide selection of new and used X-ray machines as well as only the best customer service from our sales representatives. We’re here to help you out to the best of our abilities. YOUR image is OUR business.

*Please note, the above is just an example. Consult with your tax advisor to find out how much your business could save with the Section 179 Tax Deduction.