BMH and San Juan Health collaborate on cost of new Siemens CT Scanners

With the addition of two new CT Scan machines, Blue Mountain Hospital and San Juan Health have taken the science of diagnostic treatment to a new level of excellence in patient care.

  According to Blue Mountain Hospital Chief Operating Officer, Trent Herring, BMH and San Juan Health each purchased a CT Scan Machine as part of a package deal and worked together to make this acquisition happen. 

  “It was a huge collaboration and required much effort from both sides,” Herring explained. “We met together for many months, comparing machines and then negotiating pricing.”

  Ultimately, the two organizations combined their resources and each purchased one new Siemens SOMATOM Definition AS 64-Slice CT Scan Machine, saving on the overall cost to each organization.

  San Juan Health Chief Operating Officer, Jimmy Johnson, stressed that it was great to be partners with BMH on this project because the two facilities not only helped leverage buying power for the initial purchase, but into the future as well.

  “We will save on maintenance and service costs as we continue down the road,” Johnson noted. “We will also ensure continuity of equipment in the county, meaning Radiology Techs at BMH and San Juan Health will be familiar with the equipment in both locations.”

  Johnson explained that from time to time Radiology Techs from BMH and San Juan Health may be called upon to fill in at the other facility. Having the same equipment in both locations will make that transition easy and seamless for the techs and ensure quality patient care is maintained.

  In late May, the BMH Radiology Department launched its new SOMATOM Definition AS 64-Slice CT Scan. This is the higher-end of the Siemen’s CT Scan products, and according to Siemens officials, “With the SOMATOM Definition AS, Siemens provides a scanner that is capable of adapting to virtually every patient and every clinical question. Scalable from 20 up to 64 slices the system can be configured to your specific clinical needs.

  “The SOMATOM Definition AS is designed to help maximize clinical outcome and raise patient-centric productivity. It is a powerful imaging platform that delivers high-quality images and intuitive tools to provide a sound basis for the treatment techniques of today and tomorrow. The system’s sophisticated 64-slice configuration, delivers the high-resolution images required for advanced treatment techniques.”

  According to BMH Radiology Manager Reesie Fox, this new machine can accommodate patients easier and adds to the comfort, efficiency and ease of performing CT Scans.

  Another outstanding feature of the Definition AS 64 Slice is the iMAR capability. With its iMAR (iterative Metal Artifact Reduction) feature, the Definition AS 64 Slice delivers metal artifact reduction capabilities on a completely new level. “The algorithm combines three advanced approaches: beam hardening correction, normalized sinogram inpainting, and frequency split. Whether the artifacts are caused by dental fillings, screws, prostheses, or pacemakers, iMAR helps to recover anatomy otherwise masked by significant artifacts,” Siemens officials stress.

  “iMAR provides information for contouring in areas where otherwise I would have to guess, for example near dental fillings or prosthetic hips,” noted Anne Kiil Berthelsen, Radiologist, Rigshospitalet, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

  Fox also notes that the Definition AS 64 Slice functions with 40% less radiation than other machines.

  “And, with this new CT scanner, in most cases, the actual scan time has been cut down. Meaning that the average Head CT used to take us 38 seconds and now it only takes 18-20 seconds,” she explained.

  The Definition AS 64 Slice CT Scan is more efficient, faster and provides a higher caliber image than other CT Scan machines. Siemens officials also note, “The SOMATOM Definition AS 64-Slice with FAST CARE – accelerates workflow and lowers radiation exposure to previously unseen levels – helping to leverage untapped potential in patient-centric productivity. FAST – Fully Assisting Scanner Technologies – makes time-consuming and complex procedures faster as well as more intuitive. Thus, they make scanning more reproducible and less prone to errors. And CARE – Combined Applications to Reduce Exposure – helps to deliver excellent image quality at the right dose. Being highly integrated in the workflow, they additionally contribute to optimizing productivity.”

  The Definition AS 64 Slice machines in both BMH and San Juan Health are up and running at this time. Fox said the machine at BMH went live on May 28, 2019 and has been used with 70 patients per month since the go-live date. Tyler Bailey, Radiology Manager at San Juan Health, said the go-live date for their machine was in early May and they’ve used it with a similar number of patients per month.

Top Photo: Echo Tech Jason Young and BMH Radiology Manager Reesie Fox with the new BMH CT Scan. BMH collaborated with San Juan Health to buy one for both facilities. Staff photo.

Blue Mountain Hospital Radiology Techs Codi Orr and Mark Hoopes are both certified to operate the hospital’s new Somatom Definition AS CT Scan Machine. Staff photo.
San Juan Health Radiology Techs with new CT Scan Machine are: (L-R) Tyler Bailey, Radiology Manager, Kasidy Lyman, Echo Tech Jayson Young, Shania Snow and Autumn Evans. The machine was first used in mid-May. Staff photo.

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