Diagnostic imaging equipment at WLMH gets a new look
Having the right tools for the job is important in any line of work.
In health care, diagnostic imaging (DI) tools are critical as they give clinicians an inside look at the problem they need to address. Access to DI equipment is always in demand to help address acute care needs and backlogs for procedures in all corners of the province.
Landmark equipment agreement keeps things running
“Hospitals often run their diagnostic equipment around the clock, getting the maximum use out of it to make sure patients have access to timely care. This can lead to equipment failure,” says Cheryl Malcolmson, clinical manager of diagnostic imaging at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS). “The Managed Equipment Services, or MES, agreement means we will be able to refresh and maintain all of our equipment, keeping us on top of technology and ensuring patients have access to the best.”
A year after HHS signed the 15-year landmark MES agreement with Siemens Healthineers, clinicians are seeing the benefits. For example, the new C-Arm x-ray machine that arrived at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) last fall is expanding the list of procedures which can be performed at the site.
“This is an essential piece of equipment for us,” says Dr. Ved Tandan, a general surgeon at HHS who has been leading the team of surgeons providing care at the Grimsby site since September 2020. “Without it, we can’t do gall bladder surgeries as the standard of care requires us to have it available. Previously, patients would be transferred to Hamilton to receive this care and now we can do it close to home in their community.” The C-Arm was supported by a donation from the WLMH Foundation.
In-house servicing drives “uptime”
Buying shiny new state-of-the-art pieces of equipment is one part of the agreement. It also includes a 15-year contract with Siemens to service the machines, guaranteeing a 98-percent operating “uptime.”
“Siemens helps us purchase the equipment but they also provide in-house servicing for all of the equipment in our fleet,” says Malcolmson, who is overseeing the MES agreement. “Before we would have to wait for maintenance technicians from Toronto or London to come. Through MES, we have skilled technicians at HHS all week, working on our equipment and making sure there’s limited delay to patient care due to downtime.”
Big year at West Lincoln
This year will be a big year for diagnostics at WLMH. Work is underway to have a new CT scanner operational by this summer to serve patients across Niagara and parts of Hamilton. Plus, most of the site’s diagnostic imaging fleet will be replaced through the agreement.
“We’ll be replacing mammography, and general and mobile x-ray machines, costing upwards of $1 million. Because this is coming from MES and not through fundraising, the WLMH Foundation can allocate donations to invest in other important priorities at the site,” said Malcolmson, who noted that all of the equipment being purchased now will carry over into the new hospital when it’s built.
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