St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center
St. Joseph’s opens highly advanced Mercy Outpatient Imaging Center
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – In servicing the first of what promises to be many patients at its new Mercy Outpatient Imaging Center this morning (Tuesday, July 25th), St. Joseph’s Mercy Health Center reached another milestone in its storied healthcare history.
The opening of the multi-faceted, cutting-edge Center, located on the first floor of St. Joseph’s Medical Office Building, marks the end of an intensive, multi-year process to bring residents of the Hot Springs area the latest in state-of-the-art imaging technologies.
“The Mercy Outpatient Imaging Center is a premier medical imaging facility,” said St. Joseph’s Director of Radiology Chuck Miles, CRA. “I dare say there is not another one like it in the state of Arkansas and there are very few of its stature in the United States.”
Included in the Mercy Outpatient Imaging Center’s complete line of services is the GE Lightspeed VCT 64-Slice CT scanner, Siemens Sireskop SD Digital Direct Capture Radiographic/Fluoroscopic Unit, Siemens Espree Open Bore MRI System and Picture Archive Communications System (PACS).
“Our new 64-slice CT scanner is the only one in Hot Springs and offers the latest technology available,” said Miles. “One of the many advantages of the Scanner is its ability to painlessly and non-invasively provide images of the heart. This technology allows physicians to detect any blockages or damage without performing a catheterization procedure and hopefully before a heart attack occurs. From an x-ray standpoint, the radiographic equipment does not use film or cassettes. The x-ray unit is completely electronic, which includes capturing the image, storage and distribution. The x-ray exposure is initiated on whatever body part is being x-rayed; five seconds later the image is viewable and sent immediately to the physician for interpretation. It is highly efficient and uses less radiation than conventional film-based and cassette-based systems.”
“Patients may also benefit from the new GE Discovery LS PET/CT Hybrid Imaging Scanner, which fuses C.T. and P.E.T. images together for revolutionary diagnosis and treatment of many different diseases,” Miles stated. P.E.T. (Positron Emission Tomography) helps physicians know when cancer is active by monitoring chemical and physiological changes in the body, while C.T. (Computer Tomography) allows physicians to see the physical size and structure of internal organs.
In addition, the PACS (Picture Archive Communication System) will allow the electronic medical images obtained to be available to St. Joseph’s clinicians anywhere at any time. Because it is all computerized, physicians or other clinicians will be able to access images from a computer in their home or office and it will allow several clinicians to view and manipulate the same image at the same time.
Rounding out the long list of high tech machinery is the Siemens Espree 1.5 Tesla Ultra Short Bore MRI System. “The open structure helps to provide a more comfortable and relaxing MRI scan experience. This is good news for those who have claustrophobia or experience anxiety before testing,” said Miles. Other benefits include more precise results, faster exams and less repositioning for our patients - all the while maintaining the superior image quality required for proper diagnosis.”
“It’s very unusual for a community the size of Hot Springs to have a facility like St. Joseph’s that offers the vast scope of services it does. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to add to that the very latest in imaging technology. I’m happy for the citizens of our community and pleased to play a small part in the process.”