Feb. 24, 2006
Volume 17, No. 4
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Medical imaging is as essential to providing high-quality health care as any treatment. And just as surgical instruments have morphed into more lithe, refined tools in recent decades, imaging technology has transformed, yielding higher resolution images with seemingly endless capabilities for viewing the body’s internal organs and structures.
"As a health system consistently on the forefront of medical technology, UPMC has made significant investments in the last year in radiology equipment, facilities, and staffing to be able to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging at numerous locations across the enterprise,” says James Terwilliger, vice president, Operations, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, who is leading the health system initiative.
UPMC’s Imaging Services initiative includes equipment upgrades at UPMC Montefiore, UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Passavant, and UPMC Sports Medicine; revamped imaging centers at UPMC Passavant Cranberry (due to open in early March) and UPMC St. Margaret (due to open in early May); and a new free-standing center to be called UPMC Monroeville Oxford Drive (due to open in early May).
Investing in new technology
According to Mr. Terwilliger, some of the upgrades include placement of four Siemens MAGNETOM Espree wide-bore MRI machines, valued for their broader exam tables and wider openings that can comfortably accommodate very large patients (athletes and obese individuals), those with claustrophobia, and pediatric patients without compromising image quality.
UPMC also is completing installation of five GE 64-Slice LightSpeed VCT machines. This technology offers the latest in ultra-fast CT scanning, allowing internal organs to be scanned in one second and the heart in five beats, giving clinicians unprecedented capabilities for imaging and diagnosing heart disease.
"We’ve truly entered a new era in imaging technology, which is going to have a tremendous impact on how we diagnose, and to some extent, treat disease,” says Scott Mirowitz, MD, professor and chairman, Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “At UPMC, not only do we have the latest imaging technology, we’ve got capabilities for digital viewing from anywhere in the system. Eventually all UPMC physicians will be able to view their patients’ medical images right from their desktops.”
Leading the region
But technology is only part of the equation, according to Mr. Terwilliger. “When you add to our technological advancements the expertise of our subspecialty-trained radiologists at each location, it’s easy to see why UPMC Imaging Services is the leader for medical imaging services in the region,” he says.
With more than 30 sites in western Pennsylvania and expanded hours at most locations, UPMC Imaging Services is poised to accommodate substantially higher patient volumes. A broad-scale advertising campaign is slated to begin in early March and will include outdoor and print advertising highlighting convenience, expertise, technology, and fast results.
Look for information on site-specific openings and events
in upcoming issues