Date: 1/28/2002

St. Mary Medical Center introduces new digital MRI technology to Portage community

The Portage Outpatient Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center is now offering MRI scans with digital technology, giving patients access to more advanced testing and image quality, shorter testing times, and a more comfortable testing experience.

St. Mary Medical Center has invested more than $1 million in the new MRI, which is a diagnostic tool physicians and radiologists use to diagnose a variety of medical conditions, including brain and nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer and organ disease. The advanced capabilities of the new MRI and supporting computer system allows medical staff to view and manipulate images digitally (on a computer screen) rather than on traditional films, giving physicians the clearest image possible and making the images more available on an immediate basis. As the system becomes more widespread in the medical community, patients will no longer have to re-visit the hospital to retrieve films; the images can be transmitted and stored on a compact disk for viewing at a physician’s office or other medical facility.

“This is the first of future investments planned for applying digital technology to our entire radiology system,” said Milt Triana, administrator of St. Mary Medical Center. “Filmless technology produces better images, but more significantly, it represents a more efficient way of storing, viewing and interpreting data. This cuts wait time and means more advanced, efficient care for our patients,” Triana said.


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While MRI technology is not new to the medical field, the concept of working “filmless” is. Working on a computer screen, physicians and radiologists can manipulate the images in many
ways, making them lighter or darker, zooming in on areas of interest, and printing the images
when necessary. MRI is one of the most advanced tools for early detection of certain diseases, as it employs high-strength radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of the body to evaluate dysfunction or pain in soft tissues and joints.

“The added digital component to this system solidifies the complete range of diagnostic capabilities offered to the community through our Portage facility,” Triana said.

The Portage Outpatient Health Center of St. Mary Medical Center houses home health, occupational health, cardiac rehabilitation, complete lab services, radiology, mammography, ultrasound, CT and MRI scans, physical therapy, X-ray and EKG. Patients whose physicians assign certain diagnostic tests are invited to use the Portage Outpatient Health Center for these services. For more information, call 219-764-0525.