Contact: Thomas Hottman
A new MRI machine installed in the Sky Lakes Medical Center diagnostic imaging department should be up and running by the end of the month, said director of diagnostic imaging William Morse.
So far, the installation of the new $1.6 million machine, which began in May, is going well, Morse said.
The new machine offers several important benefits to patients, said Morse and MRI technologist Jana Migliore.
A significantly wider bore, shorter table and quieter sound make it much more comfortable for patients, Migliore said.
Those upgrades to the machine mean it will feel much less claustrophobic for patients, Morse said.
In addition, the technology in the new machine will allow for slightly shorter scan times and crisper pictures, and it can perform some scans the previous MRI machine could not, such as a brain fluid scan or an angiogram done without dyes, if a doctor requests it, Migliore said. The machine also can speak multiple languages, giving patients instructions on how to breathe, she said.
Migliore is one of two techs who have trained on the new machine through a week-long program in California.
Every time the technology is upgraded, it’s like a little push into the future, she said.
The new MRI should be ready for use by Aug. 25, Morse said, then staff will spend about two weeks training with the machine under a reduced patient schedule. He’s hoping by early September, the department will be able to have a full MRI schedule.
PHOTO: The new MRI magnet is lowered through a roof in the Sky Lakes Diagnostic Imaging department in July.