The new MRI at St. Rose Health Center has been up and running just a short time and is already impressing patients and the professionals operating it, said Phil Kirmer, radiologic technologist.
The machine was recently installed and calibrated in its new home in the spacious first-floor radiology department. MRI services are no longer in a modular building that connected to the facility.
“Everybody just loves it,” Kirmer said. “This state-of-the-art equipment is good for St. Rose, which means it is good for our patients and the community.”
Magnetic resonance imaging uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It can often detect problems that cannot be seen with other imaging systems.
The new machine at St. Rose is a GE Signa HDxt 1.5 Tesla, which offers many advantages to the patient, Kirmer said.
“For one thing,” he noted, “this is a short-bore machine, which means there are fewer problems for those who suffer from claustrophobia. In many cases, only part of the body has to be in the machine that is open on both ends; it is not the long-tunnel design of the past.
“If we are testing someone’s hip, for instance, the upper half of the body is outside the machine,” he elaborated. “And patients can even listen to music if they want.”
Additional benefits include faster scanning times and quick access to radiologists who interpret the results.
“If a scan used to take an hour, it now takes about 40 minutes,” Kirmer said. “This is a big deal for patients. Since we are linked to the Hays Medical Center computerized system, patients can often learn the results the same day; when that is not possible, results will be ready the next day. It used to take several days.”
HaysMed and Centura Health co-own St. Rose.
The MRI is able to scan most parts of the body including abdomen, head, neck, spine and joints. The patient is able to easily communicate with the technologist during the exam.
Kirmer and Andrea Hoffman, radiologic technologist, have been trained in the MRI’s operation. A manufacturing company representative and a HaysMed professional who has experience with this model provided the training.
“Since this is the same model they have at Hays, the transition has been very smooth,” Kirmer said.
The technologist noted that the new machine is engineered with high-definition capabilities, which provide enhanced contrast and reduced blurring. This model also offers high-level accuracy, productivity and reliability.
“We are gratified we can now offer this high-quality equipment to our patients,” Kirmer said. “Our joint venture with HaysMed made this possible.”
St. Rose specializes in primary care, prevention and wellness. Services include St. Rose Family Medicine, Convenient Care Walk-in Clinic, Great Bend Internists, imaging, infusion clinic, WellnessWorks, one-day surgical procedures, Golden Belt Home Health & Hospice and a comprehensive Specialty Clinic. St. Rose is co-owned by Hays Medical Center and Centura Health.