The Roundup -

CT Suite Is Open At RMC In Culbertson


Lisa Rutledge, Roosevelt Medical Center radiology director. (Photo submitted)

The word "excited" just doesn't cut it. It can't begin to describe the sentiment around Roosevelt Medical Center. Perhaps words like "ecstatic or over-the-moon are more fitting. That's because the community now has access to something big and most-definitely worth celebrating!

After a year of planning and remodeling, the CT Suite is now complete at RMC. That means patients can now benefit from access to state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) diagnostic technology.

The fanfare of a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house is still tentatively planned. However, while we practice social distancing, those events are delayed.

The 80-slice Cannon Aquilion Lightning scanner will now enable medical staff to quickly determine health status and a course of treatment while giving patients the ability to receive up-to-date healthcare technology right at home.

"This is a game changer for improving the quality of care in our area. It will ensure patients can receive that vital next step in diagnostic testing to determine which treatments to administer locally," said Jody Lizotte, RMC nursing director. "It helps us determine which specialty facility is the most appropriate for a patient's medical needs. In an emergency, the receiving medical team is then better prepared to treat the patient based on the CT test they have already received from us. Time savings can be critical to ensuring the best patient outcomes," Lizotte added.

Lisa Rutledge, RMC radiology technologist, oversees the department. Rutledge has been with RMC for nearly two years and has worked in radiology since 2001.

The purchase was made possible through a $500,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. With a legacy of saving lives, the Helmsley Charitable Trust continually makes a difference in the outcomes of rural healthcare patients by improving access to quality healthcare in rural America.

The grant provided $400,000 for the purchase of the scanner and $100,000 toward remodeling a location in the hospital to accommodate it. Most of the work was completed in-house to cut down on cost.

RMC had been considering adding CT services for several years but needed to ensure the service would not create a loss of revenue for the facility and create a financial burden. "This is a vitally needed diagnostic tool we have wanted to provide to the community as a way of improving patient outcomes. We needed to be sure we would be able to staff the suite and cover the additional expenses associated with its' addition," said Audrey Stromberg, RMC administrator.

Based on the number of patients referred to other facilities for CT testing, RMC foresees completing about 20 tests each month.

The new service will enhance EMS coverage too. Often times, when an emergency room patient needs to be transferred to an area facility for a CT test, two volunteer ambulance personnel must transport that patient. This takes one ambulance and personnel away from possibly responding to an emergency. This will also potentially save the patient the additional cost of the transfer by ambulance.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust's most recent donation is its' second gift to RMC. Its' first grant was given in 2013 and was used to implement eCARE Emergency services to bring telemedicine support to the emergency department. Through this technology, RMC is able to bring specialty-trained health care providers and patients face-to-face through video monitoring in real-time. The vision of eCARE Emergency is to improve outcomes for emergency patients by linking RMC's emergency room staff to a remote multidisciplinary team, specialty trained in emergency medicine.

"Roosevelt Medical Center is honored to be a two-time beneficiary of the Helmsley Charitable Trust's generosity and looks forward to enhancing the quality of care for the people who live in our area," said Jaimee Green, RMC marketing/foundation director.


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