By Michele Pilon
Chief Executive Officer, Transylvania Regional Hospital
Ushering in the New Year is all about fresh starts, and I’ve got one to announce for Transylvania Regional Hospital. This month I’d like to highlight our MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) services, and our fresh start is that we have a brand new MRI machine here at the hospital. The arrival of our new machine will make both our patients’ and providers’ lives easier, as it will provide a more seamless, high-tech MRI patient experience.
I’m also proud that our MRI services – and the team members who provide them – have been nationally recognized as exceeding the benchmarks of excellence that are considered standard in this field.
First, it’s helpful to understand how MRI imaging works. This modality of viewing the interior of the body is performed with technology that employs both a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to produce images that can’t be produced by other methods, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, or CT (computed tomography) scans. Because MRI imaging uses no radiation, patients needn’t worry about exposure with this scanning technique.
The MRI imaging services we offer are extensive and they include a full range of whole body MRI services. TRH has abdominal, musculoskeletal, and brain MRI imaging capabilities, with the exclusion of breast and cardiac imaging. Additionally, the new MRI technology offers a much wider range of gastrointestinal and orthopedic imaging options to patients.
Michael Newbury is TRH’s Imaging Supervisor and he explains that several notable features of the new MRI machine make it superior. “Not only will the quality of images that our new machine produces be better, we’ll be able to acquire those images much faster. The new MRI machine is also going to be a more comfortable experience, especially for larger patients,” he explains. “That’s because even though it’s not an open MRI, it’s a wider bore machine, so it offers a more roomy experience and more comfort.”
Newbury also shares that many patients aren’t aware that they have a tendency toward claustrophobia until they have their first MRI experience. The larger bore will also help these patients and, in Newbury’s words, “make the experience less harrowing for them.” Delivery and installation of the new machine occurred at the hospital in November and December, and it will be up and running in mid to late January.
The fact that we’ve received accreditation by the American College of Radiology (ACR) means that we prioritize patient safety in our screening processes and offer the most advanced MRI technology. MRI machines are continually being improved upon and their designs refined, and that’s why we’re especially happy to be able to offer MRI services with our brand new machine.
We’re also proud that TRH has been named a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence ™ by the ACR. This is especially meaningful because it means, according to the ACR, that TRH is a “facility that delivers the highest levels of imaging quality, safety and care by surpassing standard accreditation requirements.” This excellence extends to meticulous documenting processes, how advanced our MRI technology is, our team members’ mastery of the machine, and ultimately, the overall patient experience. Very importantly, we are 1 of only 13 facilities in the state of North Carolina to have received this designation.
Lastly, I would also like to that mention that a new, 64-slice Computed Tomography Scanner (CT) will be coming to Transylvania Regional Hospital, further enhancing our imaging services. This technology creates three-dimensional, computerized images with less radiation exposure than a regular X-ray.
I want all of our community members to know that if they must come to TRH for any type of imaging service, they will receive superlative care with the most sophisticated medical technology. Our imaging services are just one more reason why you should feel absolutely confident in us as your “hometown hospital,” with all the amenities and features of any larger, urban facility.
Michele Pilon, MS, BSN, RN, NE-BC, is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Transylvania Regional Hospital. Her diverse professional experience includes service as a bedside nurse and over a decade as a leader at healthcare institutions in Virginia, Florida and North Carolina. Ms. Pilon earned a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Ohio’s University of Akron and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis in Illinois; she is also a Board-Certified Nursing Executive.