Richland Hospital’s Medical Imaging Department
Offering a Wide Range of Imaging Services
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Richland Hospital Now Using All Digital Radiography
At the beginning of 2013, Richland Hospital technologists were still using film to capture patient images. The film was then taken to the dark room where it took about 5 minutes to process. After the processing, a radiologist could read the film. Today, technologists take the image and about 7 seconds later it is available for the radiologist to read on a high resolution computer screen.
Jeremy Pauls is a radiological technologist who works in the Medical Imaging department at the Richland Hospital. “You can see from the dramatic time difference, how beneficial the new technology is. We can work faster and get to patients sooner,” he said.
Digital (DR) information is also much easier to send to other facilities or other physicians. “Imagine a patient enters the Emergency Room after having a motor vehicle accident,” Pauls said. “Now we can take the images and send them to a specialist who can look at them and make a decision about care right away.”
This new technology is also available at our rural clinics in Muscoda and Spring Green, in the form of CR. “We are thrilled to have this technology,” Dr. Kay Balink from Spring Green Medical Center said. “Now a second opinion on an image is just a click away.”
Digital Radiography offers:
- Superior image quality
- Increased diagnostic capability
- Lasting image storage and retrieval
- Easier sharing of imaging information between physicians
Pauls added that the total upgrade was made possible by funds donated through the Richland Hospital Foundation. “Without the Foundation, this upgrade would have taken years,” he said. “the generosity of the community and Foundation made this a very seamless and safe transfer into the new age of technology.”
State of the Art CT Scanner
Doctors and technicians at The Richland Hospital are using the Aquilion 16 CT system, by Toshiba. It is among the most advanced in the field, making CT exams at the Richland Hospital safer, more comfortable, and more accurate than ever.
For the patients, this means more detailed images captured by the new scanner allows for more accurate diagnosis.
According to the technologists who perform tests using this piece of equipment, “The new scanner is faster and capable of doing more tests than the scanner we had before. It takes about 15 seconds to complete an abdominal/pelvis CT scan now compared to about 15 minutes with the old scanner.”
The Latest in Digital Mammography
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for U.S. women under the age of 55. The Richland Hospital invested in the Senographe Essential full-field digital mammography system from GE Healthcare. Senographe Essential produces digital images on a computer screen, which helps the physicians who read them make accurate diagnoses.
Consultation between physicians is enhanced because the digital images are more suitable for electronic transfer.
“Be very proud,” Charlene Grabowski, General Manager of X-ray for GE said. “This machine is the latest and greatest in terms of mammography equipment.” According to Grabowski, only 40% of U.S. women over 40 get their mammogram screening. “In Richland County the number drops to 30%,” she said. “Thank you for stepping up and being the first in the area and one of the first small rural hospitals to invest in this technology.”
“This worked out well timing-wise for us,” said Steve Nockerts, Richland Hospital CEO at the time the equipment was added, “I want to congratulate the Medical Imaging Department and especially Marsha (Jones, RTR), Mike (Werren, Department Manager) and Cindy (Chicker, Assistant Administrator) for working to get this piece of equipment.”
The Senographe Essential will not only benefit patients and doctors, but it will also makes conducting the test safer and easier for the technicians. “With this machine, less radiation is emitted, making it safer for technicians conducting multiple tests. It is also more ergonomic.
Brian Fretchel is GE’s Women’s Health Care Business Manager in WI and has been involved in women’s health issues for more than 23 years. “This is really a special day for us all,” he said. “Digital mammography holds the promise of detecting breast cancer earlier.”
According to Marsha Jones, Richland Hospital Registered Radiological Technologist & Registered Mammographer, patients are excited about the new machine. “Tests will be a little more comfortable and go a little faster,” she said.