Plans are underway to bring computed tomography (CT) to West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH).
The technology will help diagnose patients quicker, including those in the emergency room, and decrease the need for transportation to other sites.
A CT is a donut-shaped machine that produces a series of detailed images of organs, bones and blood vessels. Those images are stacked like slices of a loaf of bread, which enables radiologists to view the entire area two-dimensionally. The technology is instrumental in diagnosing issues including stroke, acute chest and abdominal emergencies, which are seen frequently in the emergency department.
“CT has evolved considerably over the last fifteen years. Then, we may have needed three or four CTs per day, but today, that need has doubled,” said Dr. Troy Johnson, Emergency Medicine physician and Emergency Department site-lead WLMH.
Currently, if a patient visiting the emergency department needs a CT, the team needs to arrange transportation to another site so they can receive the scan. For safety, a nurse will often have to travel with the patient and stay with them until their scan is complete, which may take anywhere from two to five hours.
“Taking one nurse away from the emergency department puts a strain on the emergency staff at WLMH and may increase delays for other patients in the emergency room as a result,” said Dr. Johnson.
“I can’t emphasize how happy the emergency team is to know that our site will have a CT. It will have such an impact of our nurses, emergency doctors and most importantly, on the community we serve.”
It is anticipated that the new CT at WLMH will be able to handle up to 90 percent of the emergency department’s needs. In some cases, patients may still need to be transported to another site for more involved scans as well as to see a specialist for diagnosis or treatment following CT.
The CT will also be used for outpatient, elective scans. The total number of annual scans projected for the WLMH CT is just under 6,000 scans.
The HHS leadership team and diagnostic imaging are working to finalize details required to purchase this technology to ensure it meets the needs of the community. Timelines will depend on the final vendor as well as timing for the required construction.
The WLMH Foundation governing board and staff have committed to working with the community to fund this much needed technology.
The CT equipment would be moved into our rebuilt WLMH.
As we approach a new year filled with hope and happiness, please join us by investing in a healthy community. Please support the WLMH Foundation Trees of Healthy Wishes campaign.