Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Juan N. Babauta announced yesterday that the radiology department's brand new 16 Slice CT scanner has finally been installed and will be fully operational beginning this week.
“This is really good news for our patients at the Commonwealth Health Center. Now, the quality of the images (x-ray) is going to be much better than before. Hopefully, this will translate into better patient care,” he said yesterday.
The full operation of the new equipment was also announced to the staff by hospital services administrator Karen Buettner. In her memorandum, Buettner credited the well-organized and concerted effort of equipment contractor Oka Pacific Inc., Siemens Medical, and the hospital's maintenance department and radiology department personnel. The new scanner was shipped to Saipan last Jan. 3 and formally received on Jan. 8 by the corporation.
“Our new Siemens Somatom Sensation 16-Slice Computed Tomography System is now in place and fully functional. All routine and emergency CT exams are now available to the medical staff and CHCC patients,” Buettner's memorandum reads, adding that those interested for scheduling can contact the radiology department.
In a visit at the radiology department, unit manager Dan Harding told Saipan Tribune that the newly installed equipment will significantly increase the department's capacity. From CT exams of up to 75 monthly, the 16 Slice CT scanner will double the capacity.
Harding said that CHC had seen the progression of the important equipment-from first generation CT scan all the way to 5th generation-which he described is a major investment for the corporation.
“From single slice to 16-slice scanner, we've seen the CHC progression from using first to fifth generation of CT scan. We're very proud to have it because this is a major investment for CHC and will bring great benefits for the CNMI,” he said.
A CT scan is a computerized tomography scan. It uses x-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the inside of your body. n September last year, Medicare found the malfunctioning CT scan and a broken portable x-ray unit in the hospital during its survey visit. This was among the major deficiencies cited by the Medicare which will decide on “Condition of Participation” of the hospital next month.
Besides the new CT scan, it was also announced that the general electric advantage legacy digital radiology system (DRS), which is housed in the radiology department, is also now fully functional. All fluoroscopy exams previously performed on this system are now available under the direct supervision of the requesting physician.