Richard Vasquez is a man with a message, and he shares that message with deeply-held sincerity.
“You have a choice when it comes to where you have your healthcare services provided and whose technology you use for testing,” he said. “The truth, plain and simple, is that ETMC Athens has the latest and greatest technology and the most highly-accountable staff. So the wise choice is to let us serve you.”
Vasquez, the hospital’s director of radiology, is passionate about spreading the news that ETMC Athens offers the most-up-to-date, cutting-edge technology available. And, he points out, the cost of using outdated technology versus cutting-edge is the same.
“The provider will pay the same for the service regardless of the age of the equipment, so why not use the best?” he asks.
A jewel in the technological crown of the hospital is the 64-slice computed tomography scanner. In fact, the hospital boasts two. The 64-slice CT produces amazingly detailed images of the body’s anatomy with blazing speed. Unlike the much slower speeds of more antiquated CT scanners, a 64-slice CT can scan an entire body in 10 seconds.
“With the 64-slice CT, we can see everything,” enthused Vasquez. “The heart, the brain, blood vessels – in all three dimensions. Older-model CTs cannot compete with that kind of clarity.”
The hospital’s dedication to top-notch technology extends far past its CT scanners. In late 2008, ETMC Athens updated its nuclear medicine department with two new Philips BrightView cameras. The machines are fast and very convenient for patients, who, if necessary, can even stay in their beds for the testing.
Though their applications are not limited to cardiac care, about 70 percent of patients who use the nuclear medicine cameras at ETMC Athens do so for cardiac testing.
The radiology department also acquired this year a new short-bore MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) device which collects detailed views of the inside of the body and is a favorite tool of orthopedists looking for tricky knee, hip or spine injuries. A short-bore MRI is about half the length and twice the diameter of a standard MRI, so patients feel less anxious about being in an enclosed space.
Full-field digital mammography unit
In addition, the hospital offers a full-field digital mammography unit. With the digital unit, the image resolution of the breast is much higher, and images can be captured with greater speed – something women familiar with the process can appreciate.
“In August I went to a national meeting and met with fellow radiology directors from hospitals large and small across the nation,” said Vasquez. “We talked about where we stand, technologically, in comparison to one another, and I can say ETMC Athens truly stands by our commitment to the community to be first in East Texas and second to none.
“I would be willing to put our technology and our quality of service up against any other hospital of our size – and many much bigger – in the nation,” he said.
“We do better because we care more.”