Recognizing the need for rapid testing for emergency patients, Uniontown Hospital announced today that they have installed a new low dose CT (Computerized Tomography) scanner system in their Emergency Department and added several upgrades to their existing CT scanner.
The new equipment will be available to Emergency Department and hospital physicians to utilize in diagnosing patients, 24-hours-a-day; seven-days-a-week.
“This state-of-the-art technology, being readily available in our Emergency Department, will help physicians diagnose patients more rapidly. For example, patients presenting with stroke symptoms can be taken directly for CT testing, so within minutes of arrival a physician can make a diagnosis and begin immediate treatment,” Outpatient Services Executive Director Mark Dillon, who oversees both the Emergency Department and Diagnostic Imaging at Uniontown Hospital, said. He added that the new CT scanner is another way the hospital continues to work to provide the best care possible for Fayette County. “We want to be able to accurately and promptly diagnose our emergency patients and this new equipment will help us to do just that.”
The hospital treats more than 55,000 patients every year in the Emergency Department. With that in mind, hospital leadership saw the opportunity to install the new equipment to help quickly assess those patients requiring such testing to provide the most rapid and comprehensive treatment. “This was a decision by our leadership team that certainly made the most sense for our patients and they are always our priority,” Mandy Kooser, Administrative Director of Diagnostic Imaging, said. “Our department is excited by the opportunity to provide this service for our emergency patients.”
Radiology/CT Supervisor, Dan Butler, said that the new CT systems are low dose, allowing for the advanced testing to be conducted with safer dose levels of radiation exposure for patients.
“We want to make sure that our patients are being diagnosed quickly but also safely. These low dose systems allow us to do that,” Butler said.
In addition to this safeguard, the new CT scanner also includes bariatric services providing the capability to scan up to 660 pounds.
Butler added that the new CT scanner is equipped with Metal Artifact Reduction (SEMAR), which provides visualization of soft tissues and bone structures in areas adjacent to metallic implants.
“With SEMAR software enhancement capabilities, it will allow us to provide the most accurate diagnostic evaluations and improve patient care as a result,” Butler said. In addition, one of the upgrades to their existing CT scanner includes CT Fluoroscopy (CTF) capabilities that will allow for targeted movement close to critical structures.
“This technology will allow us to accurately and safely approach critical areas during CT guided interventional procedures,” Butler said. “This will give us the flexibility to utilize the systems in ways that we never could before in an Emergency Department setting and an outpatient setting.”
The new system is the latest facet of the Uniontown Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Department and Outpatient Diagnostic Center, which are staffed by more than 80 employees, including specialists in CT, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), ultrasound, nuclear medicine, mammography and diagnostic radiology. The department offers a variety of services necessary to assist physicians in making prompt and accurate diagnoses and conducts tests on more than 125,000 patients annually.
“This new technology is one more way we are providing for the needs of our community and our patients,” CEO Steve Handy said. “We remain committed to making a healthy difference in every life we touch and this investment helps us to keep that commitment.”