PLAINS - Thursday afternoon the staff at the Clark Fork Valley Hospital celebrated a new member of the facility with an open house reception. The new member: a new General Electric Optima CT660.
The scanner arrived June 2nd and was operational by June 8th.
“This is really a cutting edge technology and for a small hospital, you won’t find this kind of scanner in a small hospital in Montana,” said Steve Flerchinger, the radiology manager at the hospital.
The CT scanner is the newest version of GE Optima scanners on the market and the hospital is very excited to be in possession of one.
“CT is an essential role in our facility for trauma, stroke, and that type of thing,” Flerchinger said. He then went on to describe that all hospitals have a CT scanner and the prior one the hospital had, in his terms, become, “antiquated.”
Flerchinger explained that a new scanner was on the books for a while, and eventually the price for such a scanner had substantially gone down and became affordable.
Excitedly, Flerchinger described the new capabilities of the Optima CT660. “...The old one was what we call a 16 slice, this a 128 slice, so it is faster and we have been able to, with the new technology, ... cut the radiation exposure up to 60%.” He then said that the faster speed is vital in treating strokes with better imaging and getting the patient through the process faster.
Flerchinger said that along with the new features, the new scanner was similar to the older model and that he and his lab technicians had to have little training to familiarize themselves with the new equipment.
Tonya Revier, the community relations coordinator who helped acquire the scanner, stressed, “It shows our commitment to providing quality care here.”