After months of preparations, plans and renovations, the latest technological addition to Hill Country Memorial Hospital came online this week.
A new state-of-the-art computerized tomography (CT) machine was installed in a renovated suite between the imaging department and the emergency room. The new machine uses high-definition technology to capture images of the body’s structures and systems with greater clarity and detail, uses less radiation and completes its scans in less time.
Since May 12 the CT suite in the hospital has undergone remodeling and modifications to accommodate the new machine. Construction and installation continued through last week.
With its advanced, HD technology, the new CT machine:
performs scans faster
can use less contrast (the medicine that allows physicians to better see the part of the body being scanned)
produces more detailed images of the body
customizes the amount of radiation needed for each patient, thus reducing overall radiation by up to 50 percent
“All of these features mean a better, faster and more comfortable exam for patients,” said Radiology Director Dustin Embrey, RT, MR. “This scanner allows us to see the body’s anatomy in much greater detail than ever before.”
The machine’s improved image quality allows physicians to diagnose problems more quickly and with greater accuracy, leading to more effective treatment plans and proactive measures for patients.
The new CT machine also expands HCM’s diagnostic capabilities, particularly related to colon, brain and heart screenings. These additional resources enable physicians to work proactively with patients who are at risk for conditions like coronary artery disease or stroke.
“The new machine can do so much more than take a picture of the brain,” Embrey said. “It can aid in colon evaluations, check the blood flow in the brain and examine the chambers and vessels of the heart.”
These new evaluation tools include virtual colonoscopy, coronary angiography and brain perfusion imaging, an especially helpful capability when dealing with head injuries and possible strokes.
The $1.2 million scanner was funded by Friends of the Hospital Gala XV in 2013, donors to the Foundation’s 2012 end-of-year appeal, HCM employees, Canyon Creek Foundation, Hal and Charlie Peterson Foundation, Floyd A. and Kathleen C. Cailloux Foundation, The Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, Inc., Dian Graves Owen Foundation, The Don and Julie Holden Foundation, Inc., and an anonymous donor.
“With this machine, we are improving patient care and increasing safety,” Embrey said. “All in all, for patients the new CT machine is faster, better and safer.”