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Naval Medical Center San Diego Utilizes the ‘Force’ to Improve Patient Care

SAN DIEGO (Apr. 7, 2017) Lt. Cmdr. Mike Avants (left), explains the benefits of the new CT scanner at the ribbon cutting, with Naval Medical Center San Diego Commanding Officer, Capt. Joel Roos. The instillation of the new CT scanner will allow staff to provide patients with a quicker procedure at the lowest radiation dose possible. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elizabeth Merriam/Released)

SAN DIEGO (Apr. 7, 2017) Lt. Cmdr. Mike Avants (left), explains the benefits of the new CT scanner at the ribbon cutting, with Naval Medical Center San Diego Commanding Officer, Capt. Joel Roos. The instillation of the new CT scanner will allow staff to provide patients with a quicker procedure at the lowest radiation dose possible. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Elizabeth Merriam/Released)

NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER SAN DIEGO – The Naval Medical Center San Diego Radiology Department’s CT Division introduced its newest Computed Tomography (CT) scanner here during a Friday morning ribbon cutting ceremony.

With a giant blue and gold pair of scissors in hand, Capt Joel Roos, Commanding Officer for NMCSD, officially signaled the beginning of the scanner’s operations by cutting the ceremonial ribbon which blocked the entrance to the room housing the Siemens SOMATOM Force CT Scanner.

CT is an imaging procedure using special x-ray equipment to render a series of pictures depicting thin slices of the body.  The entire series produced is likened to a loaf of sliced bread, where providers can view each slice individually or the whole series of pictures together, producing a three-dimensional picture of the entire loaf.

“Arguably the most impressive fact about our scanner is that we’re able to perform cardiac CT scans and low dose lung cancer CT scans of the chest at a radiation dose similar to the dose from a mammogram or an abdominal x-ray,” said Cdr. Daniel Hawley, lead radiologist, during opening remarks in an auditorium filled with enthused members of the Radiology Department staff and NMCSD’s Executive Steering Committee.

Hawley says the significant reduction in radiation exposure is a welcome attribute, contributing to NMCSD staff’s mission of providing the safest care possible to patients, adding that, “the enhanced image quality of the new scanner will help optimize the quality of diagnoses, ranging from coronary heart disease, lung cancer screening, brain injuries and other conditions.”

NMCSD’s CT Division has historically been sought for its technologically advanced patient care capabilities and is the Navy’s first to earn accreditation by the American College of Radiology in all four imaging modules for adult and pediatric studies.  Even the San Diego Museum of Man and Museum of Natural History have requested the CT Division’s assistance in scanning mummies and fossils in support of scientific studies.

“Today’s event is a product of teamwork and cooperation that is a culmination of efforts and decisions ensuring that continuous improvements were made to patient safety and quality healthcare. Our patients will now have access to imaging technology that far outmatches the capabilities of any other CT scanner in the region,” said Hawley.

After cutting the ribbon, Roos led the group into the room for a glimpse of the large white futuristic scanner that will support NMCSD’s average annual workload of 21,000 patients expected to benefit from its use. “Our actions are a direct reflection of our beliefs that patients are our focus, staff are our most important resource, and success is judged by those we serve,” said Roos. “Whether we’re imaging our patients or building relationships with our local community by imaging mammoths and mummies, now that the ‘Force’ is with us, we’ll continue to be the nation’s premier military medical center, providing world-class care, anytime, anywhere.”

For more information about NMCSD, call (619) 532-9061 or email: usn.nmcsd-pao@mail.mil.

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