Radiology Services Enhanced

October 9, 2015

DODGE CITY, KANSAS, September 30, 2015 -- Digital images: A life-saving tool 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but one may be more valuable when it comes to your health. Medical images -- captured by X-rays, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) scan, and other techniques -- have spent the last century revolutionizing the way healthcare providers diagnose and treat illness, disease and injury. These images give physicians precise and powerful information that often boosts the likelihood of a full recovery.

At Western Plains, we are proud to offer a variety of outpatient medical imaging services, including radiology, CT, MRI, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, mammography and bone densitometry. We conduct X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs to detect broken bones, cysts, and other internal injuries. We provide preventive screenings in the form of yearly mammograms and a variety of other imaging tests for patients at risk for developing certain types of cancer. 

Western Plains Medical Complex recently completed $700,000 in upgrades and improvements to its Radiology Services Department, making it one of the most technologically advanced in Southwest Kansas. The upgrades to digital imaging mean patients experience shorter appointment times, and improved patient flow. The improvements also mean physicians will have quicker turnaround for test results, allowing them to communicate with patients more quickly.

According Radiologist Carl Fieser, MD, said the benefits for patients are many. "Efficiency is improved and patient safety is enhanced. This is a significant step for Western Plains in satisfying our mission as being THE health system for Southwest Kansas," Fieser said.

"With that, as well as the additional equipment upgrades, quality and patient safety is significantly improved, And with that comes enhanced patient satisfaction."

According to Rabe, an upgraded X-ray patient table can now accommodate up to 485 pounds, and will lower to within 18 inches from the ground. "Patients with limited mobility, who in the past had a difficult time getting onto the table, will no longer have those issues," Dr. Fieser said. "The new table alone increases patient safety and satisfaction tremendously.

Fieser also said the digital technology emits lower radiation levels, which is also safer for the patients and our techs.

Additional improvements in the radiology department include remodeled rooms and corridors, a larger bathroom and changing room.

At Western Plains, our mission is to make our community healthier. One way we can do this is by bringing quality care close to home. This includes the offering of recommended screenings, as well as educating our community about recommendations and screening procedures. Many diseases, if caught early, can be successfully treated and managed.

Mammogram guidelines
Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Studies show that early detection of breast cancer can improve the chances for successful treatment and increase a patient's chance for survival. Because of this, it is recommended that women over the age of 40 have an annual mammogram to watch for any changes to the breast. 

Every October at Western Plains, we celebrate breast cancer awareness month, offering a promotional gift to women who choose to have their digital mammograms in October and November.

Other high-risk patients
While routine mammograms and colonoscopies are recommended across the board for certain age groups, additional screenings may be recommended for patients who are considered high-risk for developing certain cancers, such as lung cancer screenings for long-term tobacco users. These types of screenings are highly personalized based on each patient's medical history, family history of disease and social risk factors. These types of screenings should be decided upon in consultation with your primary care physician.

Our imaging services are an important part of overall health and wellness, as they provide physicians the information they need to prevent, diagnose and treat illness and injury. Even better, they increase the likelihood of successful treatment and recovery for patients. 

To learn more about Western Plains' outpatient imaging services or to schedule an appointment, please call 620-225-8487.