New CT scanner boosts radiology capacity at Southern DHB

Diagnostic services at Southern DHB have been enhanced with a new state-of-the-art CT scanner on the Dunedin hospital site.

The new Siemens Somatom X.cite CT scanner is now fully installed in the radiology department, and patient Fay Angus was delighted to be the first patient to be scanned on the new machine in September.

CT scanners are used by the hospital’s radiology department to scan for signs of cancer, as well as on other conditions such as blood clots, strokes, tumours, bone fractures and surgical emergencies. They are also used for interventional procedures including vascular conditions of the chest, abdomen and extremities such as abdominal aortic aneurysms and deep vein thrombosis.

The Siemens scanner was chosen due to its state-of-the-art technology and use of the same operating system as existing CT equipment, eliminating the need for staff retraining. It also has a large 82cm bore and patient observation camera which is designed specifically to improve the patient experience and help them relax.

The additional scanner will allow the radiology department to separate elective procedures (planned procedures) from inpatient and emergency patients. It will also vastly improve scanning capacity. With the new scanner working during business hours with no evening shifts, and the team carrying out three elective examinations an hour, up to 6000 additional elective examinations a year can be performed.

“We’re delighted the scanner is fully installed and we’re now able to examine more patients,” says Acting Southern DHB Executive Director Specialist Services, Megan Boivin.

“We’ve been working hard to improve access to radiology and reduce the wait list including adding regular evening shifts. The new CT scanner will enable us to put much more capacity into the system, provide swifter care for patients and an enhanced patient experience. We look forward to seeing our CT performance improve in the coming months and the existing wait list recover.

“I’d also like to thank our building and property team, procurement team, and the project team for helping us put this all in place, and our radiology team for their outstanding and ongoing hard work and care.”

 

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