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Uncompromised value

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Philips CT MarketingPhilips HealthcareUSA

Uncompromised value

Diamond Select helps Milford Regional Medical Center advance its multislice CT capability


Milford Regional Medical Center in Massachusetts, USA is committed to providing the latest facilities in a community hospital environment. When it came to upgrading their CT scanners, acquisition speeds and post processing were their top priorities. But they also wanted to expand clinical capabilities. According to Mrs. Linda Egan, Department Manager, Chief CT Technologist, and PACS Administrator, "We want to be on the cutting-edge.We're doing what we can, within our budget, to provide the best for the community." The answer was to include a Diamond Select refurbished system in the solution.


The medical center is a full-service, community and regional hospital, serving 20 towns in south central Massachusetts. To streamline workflows and accommodate growing patient numbers, the center needed to update their single- and four-slice CT scanners. Donna Langeveld, Lead CT Technologist, points out that scanning times were long, when patients had to hold their breath it was for extended periods, reconstruction was slow, and post processing was very complicated. "We weren't able to get through as many patients." Radiologists also felt the single-slice system was outdated and unable to deliver the results they needed. This contributed to a growing exam backlog, and meant running outpatient exams until 10 p.m.

 Two multislice CT systems enable Milford Regional to greatly expand their range of applications Milford Regional Medical Center, Massachusetts, USA
Two multislice CT systems enable Milford Regional to greatly expand their range of applications
Milford Regional Medical Center, Massachusetts, USA


A well-balanced solution

Originally Milford Regional felt that they would only be able to afford a new 64-slice system and perhaps a new 16- slice system. But the Philips representative understood their underlying desire to maximize their CT capabilities and proposed a refurbished 40-slice instead of a 16-slice scanner. The hospital agreed with this solution, as it gave them the flexibility to add a high level of CT performance for their patients and stay within budget.


The Philips Diamond Select program provides first-class refurbished equipment. As the name suggests, only diamonds - reliable systems with a solid service history - undergo the thorough refurbishing process. After disassembly, inspection and disinfection, all outer parts are repainted. Most importantly, all vacuum components are renewed to ensure uncompromised image quality. The system is also upgraded to the latest software level. All Diamond Select systems come with the same comprehensive Philips warranty and service as new systems.


Enjoying a new level of functionality and speed

While acknowledging that many people have historically viewed pre-owned equipment skeptically, Mrs. Egan felt the state of the technology and the value for the money meant Diamond Select deserved serious consideration. "With used or refurbished equipment, you have to ask, is it going to meet my needs in three to five years?" she says. "This Diamond Select system is state-of-the-art. When the system rolled in the door, it was just like it rolled off the factory floor. It meets our needs now, and in three to five years it will still be a highly functional CT. And if we want to upgrade the 40-slice to a 64-slice at some point, we can do that." Since installing both systems, Mrs. Egan notes a significant improvement in the CT workflow and a greater satisfaction among the radiologists. "We're able to come up with new and better ways to look at things we never thought we could look at before. And we have a lot more options for manipulating the images," she says, "creating different views, and seeing around different structures than we used to. We can do studies much easier and much faster than before."


Patients also benefit. According to Mrs. Langeveld, examinations are quicker. "If we're doing an abdomen or chest," she says, "they don't have to hold their arms up over their heads as long. And breath holds are a lot shorter, we're down to 5 to 10 seconds tops."


The staff at Milford Regional is also impressed with the background reconstruction. The Diamond Select system came with an Extended Brilliance Workspace (EBW) which Mrs. Egan describes as "a real productivity tool," permitting the technologists to concentrate more on their patients. Physicians can use the EBW as a review station, or for reconstructions, without disturbing patient throughput. Discussing other advantages, Mrs. Egan points to multiple studies, such as neck, chest, abdomen, and pelvic CT performed on oncology patients. Contrast boluses are reduced because of the faster systems. "And you get much clearer, faster images," she says, "you can do many thin sections and create saggitals and coronals. The doctors can't believe they are the same images they used to see. The pathology is a lot clearer." There is no difference in the image quality between the new and refurbished system. "In fact," she explains, "some radiologists ask us, 'Which system did this image come from?'"


Mrs. Langeveld notes the added flexibility she and the other technicians have in post processing. For example she says, "If the patient leaves after their scan, and the radiologist detects a lung nodule, we don't have to rescan the patient. We can retroactively reconstruct the images, and make the images available for the radiologist to check for lung nodules."


"We're doing what we can, within our budget, to provide the best for the community." Mrs. Linda Egan, Department Manager, Chief CT Technologist and PACS Administrator
 Patients benefit from shorter exam times
Patients benefit from shorter exam times


A future with expanded applications

One of the most exciting aspects of Milford Regional's new multislice CT capability is the greatly expanded range of applications. High on the list is more cardiac work. "Since we are a certified stroke center within the state of Massachussetts," says Mrs. Egan, "I'd also like to get the brain perfusion going so we can be more effective in assessing stroke patients and applying thrombolytics." Mrs. Langeveld adds, "you can do cardiac work or brain perfusion on either system." This would not have been the case with a 16-slice system. "So now if a case comes in we can put it on whichever system is available."


Advice to other hospitals

Mrs. Egan is enthusiastic about the value of the Philips Diamond Select program. They have had no trouble with either scanner. "If I look at them side by side, you would never know that one was refurbished," she says. In fact the hospital is considering another Diamond Select CT scanner for their cancer center, which is under construction. "Diamond Select is a perfect name because it really is a diamond. You get value, and it's state-of-the-art technology. I would recommend everyone to consider it."


Mrs. Egan believes having two high-end scanners is in line with Milford Regional Medical Center's commitment to serve their community with faster more confident diagnoses, and better care. "We're only a 126-bed hospital, but we have some pretty impressive equipment to help take care of our patients." She quickly adds, "After all, they deserve it."

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Aug 14, 2010

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Brilliance 40-channel
brain, Brain Perfusion, Brilliance v2.0, Brilliance Version 1.2, Cardiac, Head, myocardial perfusion, myocardial viability, Neuro, pediatric cardiac, prospective, refurbished equipment, retrospective, workflow

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