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New MRI coming to Evangelical Community Hospital soon

PHOTO PROVIDED Above, Tessie Savage, RT (R)(MR) MRSO, MRI Team Leader at Evangelical Community Hospital stands in the space that will house the new MRI equipment. The floor is reinforced with steel to withstand the weight of the machine. The new MRI equipment is anticipated to be available to patients starting in April 2021.

Evangelical Community Hospital remains committed to providing access to needed services and that includes the many modalities offered by the robust Imaging Department at the Hospital.

In April 2021, patients who schedule an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) will find themselves in a comforting environment with the latest technology available to them through Siemens Magnetom Altea equipment. This new MRI replaces an earlier model of Siemens equipment that was installed in November 2001.

MRIs generate images of the anatomy and the physiological processes of the body by using strong magnetic fields, magnetic field gradients, and radio waves. This includes highly detailed pictures of organs, bones, muscles and ligaments.

At the Hospital, approximately 400 MRIs are performed each month for both inpatients and outpatients and are used primarily on brain-related neurology studies, lumbar spine assessments, knee conditions and for breast screening and biopsies.

Because the hospital could not be without MRI services while construction was underway, the first part of the plan was to create a place outside of the Hospital to host a mobile MRI unit. A climate-controlled corridor was built to reach the unit so patients would never have to go outside, and staff could remain in a comfortable location to monitor the images as they are being captured. This area can be used in the future to host other mobile medical units as needed.

When the new equipment arrives in March, it will take a few weeks to install the new high-powered magnet with engineers from Siemens working to calibrate the machinery and test to make sure all of the equipment is working properly. In addition, staff will be trained to use the new features of the equipment.

The model from Siemens was chosen because of its high-quality imaging and capacity to serve the greatest needs of Evangelical’s patient population. It will include artificial intelligence software that will allow the equipment to look at a previous scan and create a new scan from that exact angle for comparison of a condition.

Once in place, patients will experience decreased test time using the equipment while still receiving the skilled and compassionate care of the MRI team who have a combined 65-years of experience using the technology.

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