BGH team opens new CT suite
Bonner General Health team members celebrate the opening of the new CT Suite offering improved diagnostic services to the community. Pictured in front from the left are Sasha Coop, Jennifer Koopman and Jayson Stotts; behind from left are Dr. Stacey Good, Kristin Carlson, Hailey Huot, Charles Cleiman, Sheryl Rickard, Erin Binnall, John Hennessey, Curtis Johnson and Daniel Holland.
A computerized tomography scanner combines a series of X-ray images taken at different angles to create a cross-sectional image of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissues. It provides the practitioner more detailed information than a standard X-ray.
Higher demand on the existing CT scanner led to Bonner General Health to seek funding for a second one. With grant money in hand, construction started on Sept. 6 and the new suite was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration Dec. 6.
“The need for a second CT has become increasingly apparent as our population grows, creating more demand for emergent services,” Daniel Holland, Diagnostic Imaging director, said. “Before this addition, Bonner General Health had one CT scanner to serve ER patients, in-patients, and all outpatients in our region. Serving these demographic groups has become increasingly complex with our population rising. A CT scanner is a critical tool in diagnosing strokes and trauma.”
At BGH during the years 2014 to 2020, the CT volume increased by 73 percent, creating ongoing challenges in providing the most critical patients with timely care. Having an available and open CT scanner for patients in the ER is essential to making an accurate diagnosis and transfer.
The second challenge was having redundancy in the area’s health system, officials said.
“When our scanner goes down for preventative maintenance or equipment malfunction, it changes how our EMTs and the Emergency Department practice medicine,” Holland said. “Without proper equipment, the patient will be diverted from our facility to other more extensive facilities, which take 40 to 60 minutes to reach.”
Such obstacles create delays in receiving care, delays these patients can't afford. In addition, it forces patients to be transferred due to the inability to diagnose, he said.
“With a second scanner, some of these patients could be adequately treated in their home community, reducing travel time and expense,” Holland added.
BGH was able to obtain grants to fund construction and the purchase of this second CT scanner. A $200,000 grant from The Sunderland Foundation was awarded earlier this year, specifically to construct the second CT Suite. A $354,500 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust covered one-half of the purchase price of the CT Scanner.
Ultrasound was moved to the new Imaging Center and the new CT suite took over that space which is conveniently located next to the Emergency Department.
"We feel incredibly fortunate to have been granted these funds from the Sunderland Foundation and M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. We value their partnership in improving the care that we provide in our community," Sheryl Rickard, BGH CEO, said.
“Our Diagnostic Imaging services have significantly improved with three major projects during 2022. The New Imaging Center, located at 423 N Third Avenue, houses Mammography, Ultrasound and DEXA, with room for additional growth. In addition, a trauma X-ray room will be operational in the New Year. This room will signify a dramatic increase in technology and efficiency for the radiology department. "It will undoubtedly aid in expanding access to our patient population,” Holland said.