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RCH upgrades, doubles ultrasound technology


Special to The Hays Daily News

Special to The Hays Daily News

Rooks County Health Center, in its continuum of care, recently purchased two new ultrasound units, doubling the capacity for improved access by patients and replacing the previous unit of only two years service for the most recent state-of-the-art models available.

“We actively monitor all our services as well as trends in health care improvements,” said Darci Mills, RCH communications and cevelopment cirector. “In 2013, we saw the need to offer echocardiograms in-house, five days a week. By January 2014, we began offering these echos daily, and the demand exceeded our expectations.”

According to Mills, patients have immediate access to preventative health screenings and other diagnostic services with little wait time with the new units with one primarily dedicated to echocardiograms, which tend to be longer procedures, lasting sometimes up to an hour.

Ultrasound technology, sometimes referred to as sonogram, is the prominent method for medical imaging of soft tissues of the body and internal body structures. Widely used for prenatal imaging, ultrasounds are invaluable tools for heart health enabling technologists to measure the size of the heart chambers and to monitor pumping function of the heart and its valves. Ultrasounds can display blood flow, motion of tissue and the location of blood and fluids. It also is the primary tool for viewing tendons, muscles, joints and internal organs.  Ultrasound’s advantage over other medical imaging is  it offers images in real-time, even at a patient’s bedside. It’s also substantially lower in cost, and patients aren’t exposed to harmful ionizing radiation.

“While a proven great diagnostic tool, RCH puts even more emphasis on prevention, and this is where ready access to ultrasound technology is important,” Mills said. “Ultrasounds offer preventative screenings, which are painless, take less than 15 minutes and cost $25 or less with no doctor’s order or appointment required.”  

Common preventative care screenings include scanning for peripheral artery disease, aortic aneurysm and risk of stroke.

“Eighty percent of strokes are preventable,” Mills said. “With these new units and the improved imagery the technology has made in just the last two years, it is even more important to take the time to have a preventative health screening performed.”

To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (785) 688-4424.