A New Zealand-first has been created at Hawke’s Bay Hospital with the installation of a new scanner to diagnose medical conditions, illnesses and injuries with the most modern of computerised tomography.
To be technical, it’s the GE Revolution Apex Elite.
Radiology manager Angela Fuller says it produces ultra-fast, higher-definition images while using less radiation – “which should flow through to better outcomes for patients and whānau”.
High-quality images can be consistently delivered across the team, the ultra-fast scan mode improves cardiac CT scanning capability and can produce one-beat cardiac scans.
It allows for better imaging of children, reducing the need to use general anaesthetic or sedation, and radiologists can review images from their desks, rather than having to work from the CT scanner workstation.
Clinically trained professionals from supplier GE Healthcare have been training staff in radiology’s Tom McCormack Memorial CT Suite.
“Having high-quality, reliable equipment that does the job it is supposed to do ensures we provide a good patient experience, and makes the jobs of our medical imaging technologists a far more enjoyable experience,” Fuller says.
The previous scanner had reached the end of its life, no longer meeting New Zealand quality standards, and the radiology team is overjoyed to have reached this long-awaited milestone.
But it’s not the end of the road for the outgoing model, which will be refurbished so it can be sent overseas to a country that doesn’t currently have one.
Minor refurbishments were done on the Tom McCormack Memorial Suite so it could accommodate the new machine, including levelling the floor and electrical work.
The new scanner is part of a wider radiology refurbishment at the hospital. Te Whatu Ora Hawke’s Bay replaced its angiography and fluoroscopy units, refurbished three digital radiography rooms (formerly X-ray rooms) and upgraded the existing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Fuller says there is still work to come, such as adding a second CT scanner and reconfiguration of the layout of the unit to ensure delivery of the highest-quality patient care.