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ETMC Quitman adds faster fluoroscopy equipment

New fluoroscopy equipment in the radiology department at ETMC Quitman will offer imaging patients faster studies with much higher image quality.

The new equipment, manufactured by Shimadzu, is used especially for taking real-time, moving images of the digestive system and determining how well it is working, including swallowing and the movement of the intestines as barium moves through them.

It can also be used to assist physicians in the removal of foreign bodies, such as metal fragments in a hand. It is also takes traditional X-ray images, and is superior to previous technology in both speed and image clarity.

"Fluoroscopy uses real-time imaging, so in the digestive tract, we are taking images as it is digesting," explained Lee Torres, ETMC Quitman radiology director.

"Our patients will notice that this new unit is so much faster than the previous unit. We've made a quantum leap forward," she said. "For the physicians, the image quality is much clearer." The new technology will allow the radiology department to store a patient's fluoroscopy images digitally.

Combined with ETMC's new PACS, or Picture Archiving and Communication System, this allows the patient's physician to access the image instantly by computer in the hospital or in their office.

"Digital Radiology has helped with the care of patients by allowing us to:

1. Get reports quicker;

2. Consult with specialists in Tyler on the phone while both of us look at radiology studies at the same time;

3. Consult with specialists in Tyler without transporting the patients; and

4. Get reports 24 hours a day.

Having quicker, better response helps us to care for our patients more efficiently," explained Dr. Beverly Waddleton. The new technology is a $260,000 investment in healthcare services at ETMC Quitman.

Additionally, the room that houses the equipment was refurbished. ETMC Quitman is part of the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System. Other ETMC facilities include hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Jacksonville, Mt. Vernon, Pittsburg, Trinity and Tyler.

Originally posted August 29 2007