All “Low Dose” Radiology at PCH

  • Category: News
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  • Written By: Horizon Health

The Paris Community Hospital (PCH) Radiology Department recently installed a new, 64-slice, state-of-the-art CT machine (CAT scan). Additionally, X-ray equipment was upgraded, making all PCH radiology services digital and “low dose.”

The term “low dose” means less than average amounts of radiation are being transmitted to a patient during his testing. Each patient receives only as much radiation as he needs to produce successful imaging, based on his age, height, and weight. Radiation exposure may be reduced by as much as 60 percent.

“We really took the time to carefully consider all aspects of this purchase—from dose reduction and image quality to quicker scan times and patient comfort,” said Elisha Farmer, RT (R) (M) (CT), PACS administrator at PCH. “We chose a scanner that financially made sense for us, but also would not limit us in expanding our service lines in the future.”

In addition to being “low dose,” this new technology offers many other benefits for both patients and physicians. The CT specifically offers significantly quicker scans, a more open feel, and calming LED mood lighting for patients. Physicians benefit from an expanded service list, including dental, vascular, and bone density imaging. 

The new, FDA-approved CT, as well as the upgraded X-ray equipment, allow for quicker scan times and clearer images. Taking and reading all digital testing increases the level of detail and provides more accurate diagnoses. 

PCH/FMC currently transfers radiology images to and from approximately 50 hospitals and medical centers throughout Illinois and Indiana. While PCH/FMC has been developing these capabilities over the past four years, the new equipment greatly enhances the efficiency of this process. 

With the new equipment, PCH/FMC has also begun offering low-dose lung cancer screenings through a quick, painless CT scan. The scan, which takes less than five minutes, can be used as a screening tool to rule out pre-cancerous nodules in the lungs. 

The screenings are recommended especially for patients who are 55-74 years old and have smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or two packs per day for 15 years. The cost is $99 at the time of scan, and a physician’s order is required. 

“The upgrades to our department in the last six months have been significant,” said Don Held, MS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, radiology manager at PCH. “We’re proud to have top-of-the-line equipment that would rival any big urban hospital.”

For questions about radiology services at Paris Community Hospital, call (217) 465-2606, Ext. 242.