Money will help digitalize Center's radiology functions
SIKESTON -- Missouri Delta Medical Center is moving into the digital age and federal funding will help complete that transition.
Eighth District Representative Jo Ann Emerson announced $191,593 in federal funding to help computerize radiology functions during a stop Friday afternoon at the Sikeston medical center. "This is a big assist as we move from film to digital image," said Charles Ancell, MDMC's president and CEO, about the additional funding for the system. "This is a whole new dimension in radiology."
The new system, Picture Archiving and Communications System or PACS, uses digital technology for CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, nuclear medicine, general X-
rays and other images required by medical personnel. The local hospital has worked for about a year to make the change over from film to PACS.
"Access to healthcare and technology is essential in the Eighth District," said Emerson, explaining this is why she sought the federal funding. Sitting at a table in the conference room of the hospital, she then asked questions of hospital personnel about the system and its uses.
Debbie Nichols, director of radiology, explained the hospital is now about 90 percent filmless. "It is a wonderful product. The images are instantaneous and the quality of the images are great," she said.
Through the system, area physicians now can access patients' medical images from any location with Internet access. Other advantages to the system include the convenient size -- instead of large pieces of film, patients are now given a CD with all the images on it to bring to their physicians. Also the images provide a higher resolution and more detail, Nichols explained. Because the image is computerized, a physician can easily manipulate it -- zooming in, changing contrast or rotating it for the best view.
Also attending the gathering were Ellen Brandom and Steve Hodges, area state representatives. Both are involved in health care issues on the state level.
"Being a resident here, I'm thrilled," said Brandom about the technology improvements.
Hodges added he has seen the important role Missouri Delta plays in the area. "I'm very excited about what this will do for us," he said.
"Technology is very important in health care. It is nice to get help from the government to get this done," added Ancell.
Following the meeting, Ancell and other hospital personnel provided Emerson with a tour of the construction under way at Missouri Delta, which will eventually entail a renovation of the entire medical center.