Norton Sounds brings first-ever MRI to Nome area

Norton Sound Health, a tribally owned organization serving 10,000 residents across 16 communities in Alaska, recently went live with its first-ever MRI imaging machine.

That means residents no longer have to travel 550 miles to Anchorage for MRI exams, also obviating the need for emergency transportation that could cost as much as $35,000. Further, radiologists in Anchorage now can remotely read images almost immediately and return reports to clinicians in the Nome region in less than four hours. Finally, a previously months-long waitlist also is a thing of the past.

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A General Electric Co. logo is seen on a Discovery CT750 HD CT scan machine as it sits on display prior to a news conference in New York. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

“Now, we can allow members of our community to stay closer to home, and we can see them in a shorter time period because of our smaller patient load,” says Cathy DeAngelis, manager of radiology at Norton Sound Health. “If we receive an MRI order for a patient and we can approve their insurance quickly, we can scan them the same day.”

Getting the MRI to the hospital meant shipping the system in sub-components small enough to fit into a C-130 Hercules aircraft, flown into Nome, then reassembled by GE Healthcare engineers on-site. A hole had to be cut in the wall of the ambulance bay of the emergency department to move the 10,000-pound magnet inside the hospital.

Here are other new contracts and go-lives reported during the past week.

* Eight California hospitals recently joined Prime Healthcare Manifest MEDEx, the statewide health information exchange for providers and insurers. Prime Healthcare, with 45 hospitals in 14 states, previously had seven Prime Healthcare hospitals join the HIE and now the other eight are on board. The eight new hospitals on the HIE are Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, Garden Grove Hospital Medical Center, West Anaheim Medical Center, Huntington Beach Hospital, La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, Paradise Valley Hospital, Centinela Hospital Medical Center and Shasta Regional Medical Center.

* St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines, affiliated with St. Luke’s in the U.S., has selected Allscripts as its electronic health record vendor. The Philippines facilities include two hospitals totaling 1,146 rooms in Quezon City and Global City.

Also See: Mohawk Valley Health System goes live on Epic

* TriHealth in Cincinnati has implemented ProviderMatch software from Kyruus, which includes a standardized provider directory to help patients more easily find the right caregivers. TriHealth includes five hospitals and more than 100 other sites of care.

* Friendswood Family Medicine, a community health center in Friendswood, Texas, is using ambulatory software from NextGen Healthcare and prescription monitoring software from Appriss Health to more effectively prescribe and dispense controlled substances. Glenn Orsak, MD, at Friendswood, sought proper prescription management to secure better outcomes for patients.

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