Wallowa Memorial Hospital is receiving an $18,000 x-ray film digitizer compliments of the Wallowa Valley Health Care Foundation. The new machine will allow the hospital to send x-ray information, via the Internet, anywhere in the world day or night.

"I think we are really moving into the 21st Century," said hospital Radiology Manager Sharon Cramer who expects the new piece of equipment to be at the hospital within the next week.

The new digitizer's forerunner, also a computer, was 10 years old and outdated, said Cramer. It broke down and could not be fixed.

The new piece of equipment will have x-ray information in the hands of doctors of transferred patients long before the patient arrives at another hospital. Radiologist specialists will be able to give first opinions, second opinions or even emergency opinions shortly after the x-ray is taken.

By digitizing the information film storage space at Wallowa Memorial will be greatly reduced. It will also enable the x-ray department to place a patient's x-ray history, or "jacket", on a CD and send it along with the patient to another facility.

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