New CT suite at Hillcrest South offers more speed, accuracy with new AI technology

Hillcrest South has constructed a new CT suite around the patient experience. The suite includes a new CT machine, which uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) technology to scan patients more accurately and quickly. The result for the patients is a more accurate image and a faster scan experience at South. There are also ultrasound machines in the suite, and a much larger area around the machines, which allows for more space and privacy for patients.

A recent open house in the suite gave employees a chance to see the new Siemens computed tomography (CT) scanner up close. Jason Holley, lead CT tech, was on hand to demonstrate the new technology, comparing images from the new scanner to scans from the older CT machine, which will be moved to an outpatient building. The technology in the new machine is about 15 years more advanced.

"The images that we can produce on this are tremendously better than the previous scanner. For our hospital, this is like going from a lightbulb in the 80s to LED lights," said Holley. "The images can help our doctors diagnose our patients' illnesses faster and more accurately."

Assistant Administrator Greg McFarland said the new technology and suite were part of a $3 million investment from the hospital over the last 18 months. The design and planning phase took about a year, and then construction took about 90 days.

"We see over 1,200 outpatients at the hospital in CT a month, so 30 to 40 a day," said McFarland. "When we built this suite, we brought in the experts to help us design this around the patient experience to get them in and out faster."

"This scanner has artificial intelligence. This scanner can pick out certain anatomy and recognizes them automatically, which makes scanning faster," said Holley. "It also learns with every scan we do."

The new suite also has space to allow providers and patients to go through all the steps of the CT scanning process comfortably. A new inpatient holding bay with curtains provides privacy, and there is a section of the room dedicated to the start of the contrast process.

"The privacy that each patient gets is enhanced," said McFarland. "While no one wants to come to the hospital, we want the patient experience to be built around comfort and expediency around their expectations of how much time in their day they will be with us."

"We're just so excited about getting this equipment," said Holley. "It's just night and day, it's so different. It's just going to help us take care of our patients."

"It's bringing a whole new type of technology to this hospital that we didn't have previously," said McFarland. "The efficiency of this is just through the roof. The promise we want to offer this local community is a quick, efficient process, beginning to end."

Click here to learn more about the diagnostic imaging services offered at Hillcrest Hospital South.