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St. Mary Medical Center Expands Imaging Services in the Community

Richboro Campus adds new capabilities to meet needs for quality imaging

LANGHORNE, Pa. May 14, 2012 – St. Mary Medical Center today announced that St. Mary Imaging - Richboro Campus is expanding to meet the growing need for quality imaging services in the community. Highlights of the expansion include the installation of new digital X-ray and ultrasound capabilities to perform additional diagnostic studies at a convenient location in the community. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CT (Computerized Axial Tomography) scans also will continue to be offered at the Richboro Campus, which opened in 2006 in the Richboro Shopping Plaza, 1059 Second Street Pike.

St. Mary Imaging is a wholly owned subsidiary of St. Mary Medical Center and is accredited by the American College of Radiology, a quality distinction that ensures that all staff and equipment have passed meticulous evaluation, focusing on quality and safety processes. “With ACR accreditation, patients and referring physicians can be confident that the highest quality of care and image detail are being provided to the clinician to allow for the most accurate diagnosis and care plan for the patient,” said Dr. Gustavo Sanchez, St. Mary Medical Director of Imaging.

Digital X-ray or digital radiography is filmless X-ray imaging. In place of X-ray film, a digital camera is used to capture the X-ray image and make it available as a digital file. It is more efficient because there is no film requiring chemical processing. In addition, less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar contrast to conventional radiography. Special image processing techniques also can enhance the overall display and detail of the image. The digital files produced are immediately available for interpretation by radiologists and are readily saved as part of the patient’s medical record.

Ultrasound is especially effective for imaging soft tissues of the body, including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or lesions. In an ultrasound examination, a transducer sends out sound waves and records the returning echoing waves. These signature waves are instantly measured and displayed by a computer, which creates a real-time image on the monitor that is valuable for diagnosing a variety of conditions. (Please note that obstetrical and fetal ultrasounds commonly used during pregnancy will not be performed at the Richboro Campus but will continue to be offered in the Perinatology Department in the St. Clare Medical Building on the St. Mary Main Campus.)

“In the five years that we’ve been in Richboro, the need for imaging services has really grown and St. Mary has responded with this expansion and introduction of additional technologies in a setting that is most convenient to our patients,” says Sue Monte, Vice President, Outpatient Services. “By expanding our services in the community, we are providing our patients with the highest level of quality imaging in an effective way that meets their needs for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Depending on diagnostic needs and preferences, MRI and CT studies ordered by physicians also can be performed at the Richboro imaging campus. MRI is an advanced technique for three-dimensional imaging of body areas, including the brain, spine, joints, pelvis, abdomen and chest. It is a specialized diagnostic tool that is especially useful for soft-tissue injuries and conditions often associated with cancer, stroke, or sports trauma. A CT or CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan uses a computer to combine a series of X-rays to produce a three-dimensional image of the internal organs and structures within the body.

All imaging studies are stored and shared on the Picture Archiving and Communication Systems (PACS) used by St. Mary that makes access to the files and reported results readily available to referring physicians and healthcare providers through a secure centralized internet server. St. Mary radiologists also use PowerScribe®, an automated transcription system to facilitate the reporting process and provide test results quicker to the referring physician and patient.

The Richboro imaging center also was renovated to provide a more patient-friendly environment with increased privacy during the registration process and newly decorated changing areas. Easy access and convenient parking are additional amenities.

In addition to celebrating the expansion of the Richboro imaging center with a blessing of the newly redesigned facility on Friday, May 11, the staff also were presented with a plaque from the St. Mary Medical Center Board of Directors in appreciation of their efforts in providing outstanding care. In 2011, Patient Satisfaction scores for imaging services consistently ranked in the 95th percentile, placing them in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide.

Appointments for imaging studies can be made by calling 215.710.2208 or logging online to www.stmaryhealthcare.org/onlineappointment. With a physician script and insurance approval, walk-ins are accepted for traditional X-ray of arms, legs, back, head and chest.