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ETMC Gilmer upgrades X-ray equipment, facilities

 Gilmer, Texas – Faster, safer, more comfortable – these are just a few of the words that describe the recently renovated X-ray room at ETMC Gilmer.

 “We have completely remodeled our X-ray room,” said Jorge Leal, administrator of ETMC Gilmer.  “We have given the room a facelift, including new walls and new floors, which make the room warmer and more inviting, but most importantly, we have new X-ray equipment -- a Philips BuckyDiagnost Radiology room -- which will allow our radiology staff to better serve our patients.”

The newly remodeled room contains a floating table that moves up and down for easier patient access. The new X-ray system limits the size of the beam to the required region on the patient, providing better radiation protection than older units, said Chris Norwood, RT(R), radiology manager at ETMC Gilmer. Equipment for chest X-Rays and standing radiographs offers handles that patients can hold for added stability.

The room is designed so that exams flow more quickly, reducing wait and procedure times, Norwood said.  The system is powered by an 80 kilowatt generator, which provides the energy needed to shoot radiographs more quickly, and allows X-rays to more easily penetrate larger patients.

In addition to the new X-ray room, the department recently upgraded its SYNAPSE® PACS (picture archiving and communication system), which allows physicians in other locations to quickly access and read X-rays and other diagnostic images.

 “Our upgraded system will allow physicians at ETMC Tyler, or anywhere in the world, to access and read X-rays taken at ETMC Gilmer,” said Leal.  “This allows us to provide better care to our patients, especially those in need of specialty care.”

 In the coming weeks, ETMC Gilmer will add a new Philips iU22 ultrasound machine, which has abdominal, vascular and echocardiography imaging capabilities.  The new ultrasound machine produces increased sensitivity and more penetration resulting in higher quality images, Norwood said. The SmartExam feature allows the machine to remember every step of the exam, reducing exam time by up to 50 percent.

ETMC Gilmer also offers patients a 64-slice CT. The 64-slice scanner produces a higher image quality than older 2- to 16-slice scanners, and uses less contrast, which is better for the patient, Norwood said.  The 64-slice CT is faster, as well, resulting in procedure times of 15 to 30 minutes, including paperwork.

MRI services are also available at ETMC Gilmer.  The mobile unit, which features the latest GE 1.5 T MRI scanner is operated by Shared Imaging, and visits the hospital on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

 “Our over-arching goal is always to provide the residents of Upshur County and surrounding areas with convenient access to high quality healthcare,” Leal said.  “Our recent renovations, upgrades and equipment purchases help ensure that is the case in the area of radiology services.”

ETMC is a not-for-profit organization committed to improving the quality of life in communities throughout East Texas.  Other ETMC facilities include hospitals in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Henderson, Jacksonville, Mt. Vernon, Quitman, Trinity and Tyler.