Methodist Hospitals Invests in New Technology 

Apr 02

1. NWI's only biplane cath lab - Considered the Gold Standard for NeuroIntervascular Care
2. LightSpeed VCT 64-slice scanner - faster than any other CT scanner on the market today
3. Glidescopes and Ultrasound for ER - expedite diagnosis and treatment for trauma patients
4. Meditech - Consolidating patient safety, medical record keeping, and information technology

Additional information below:

Since 1923, Methodist Hospitals has made a strong commitment to the people of Northwest Indiana and they continue to support the health of the community by investing in new technologies that give those in the region the best in preventative medicine and healthcare. Thanks to state funding, Methodist was able to invest a total of just over $36 million in patient care technology in 2008.

The most impressive new investment is the flat detector biplane catheterization lab, an advanced imaging tool that reconstructs the clearest possible 3-D picture of the finest vessels and intricate anatomy to treat a variety of disorders including diseases of the heart and blood vessels, neurovascular disorders and other conditions. Methodist Hospitals is the first hospital to introduce this new technology to NWI. This X-ray technology enables physicians to make a faster and more accurate diagnosis and perform minimally invasive procedures with more accuracy and precision. Mayumi Oka, MD, the only neurointerventional radiologist on staff in Northwest Indiana and highly regarded for her work, joined Methodist in 2006. Dr. Oka is excited about the benefit this new equipment will bring to the patient and physician, “The images are much more precise using this equipment. The biplane system can provide images of vessels from two angles simultaneously; this is essential when treating complex anatomy such as brain vessels.” Using the new equipment, the physician has an enhanced view of the structures as they diagnose and treat. Neurointervention can be used to treat brain aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), strokes, stenosis (narrowed vessels) and tumors. One of the more significant advances Dr. Oka brings to Methodist is the treatment of acute stroke.

She can use clot removing catheters and the intra-arterial administration of clot dissolving medications that can reverse stroke symptoms. In other settings, the clot dissolving medication might be administered intravenously and would need to be given within three hours of the patient presenting with stroke symptoms. However, by employing neurointerventional radiology techniques, a patient now has as much as a six-hour window to receive the medication. The biplane system also enhances the treatment of cardiovascular patients. The images produced by the biplane are so detailed that physicians are able to see clearly enough to maneuver small medical devices-such as catheters, stents, and guidewires-during balloon angioplasties, vascular interventions and other clinical procedures.

The new 64-slice CT system at Methodist can produce intricately detailed, 3-D images of internal anatomy. In a single rotation, the LightSpeed VCT from GE Healthcare creates 64 high-resolution anatomical images as thin as a credit card, hence the name 64-slice CT scanner. These images are then combined to form a threedimensional view of the patient’s anatomy for the physician to analyze. “The LightSpeed VCT 64-slice scanner is faster than any other CT scanner on the market today. This CT scanner allows patients to be imaged in no more than five to 10 seconds,” says Tulsi Sawlani, M.D., chief of radiology at Methodist. “Thanks to the 64-slice CT scanner, we are better able than ever to detect a wide range of disease entities including cardiovascular disease, metastatic cancer, appendicitis, decreased blood flow to the brain, and renal stones as small as 1-2 mm in size.” Due to its speed and high resolution, this system will also enhance physicians’ ability to perform high-quality imaging for musculoskeletal, neurological, and pediatric diseases. Methodist also purchased software to enhance the CT scanner. This software, TeraRecon’s Aquarius Workstation, enables real-time diagnostic review of 2D, 3D, and 4D images for managing large thin-slice CT and MR scans.

Chief Medical Director of the Emergency Department and EMS Director Michael McGee, M.D, M.P.H. says that Methodist’s investment in two critical pieces of equipment in the emergency room that save time and save lives. “In trauma care and the ER, we get a lot of patients who have problems breathing and need to be intubated. But with some patients, who are either obese or because of their injury, or little babies, it’s hard to see their airway. So we purchased a piece of equipment called a Glidescope that is a video laryngoscope, attached to a high-resolution color screen. It is state of the art and we’ve used it for about a year,” says McGee “Another important piece of equipment is our ultrasound, which we use for trauma patients to help detect abnormal fluid collection. It helps save time for the patient so we can get them into surgery right away which can save a person’s life. We can also use it for patients who we have a hard time getting an IV into. It can see the main vessels and put a good IV in. It’s less painful,” McGee says.

Methodist Hospitals invested 23 million dollars in the new Meditech system, consolidating patient safety, medical record keeping, and information technology. By having a fully-integrated system that starts at registration and flows seamlessly through to discharge and patient accounting, caregivers have a complete, up-to-the-minute electronic patient medical record which accurately reflects all the care delivered, enhancing clinical decision-making and patient safety. Nurses are now documenting care at the patient’s bedside using wireless computers, eliminating double documentation and improving accuracy. As a result, patients are receiving exceptional care that continues to be high quality, highly safe, and highly efficient.

For more information or to interview/photograph Methodist Hospital employees, please contact me, my contact information is located below.

Amber Raza
Marketing and Corporate Communications
P: 219.886.4474
F: 219.886.4592

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