Assembly approves up to $1.6 million for new scanner

Hospital looks to upgrade CT scanner

Central Peninsula Hospital is looking to upgrade its 10-year-old CT scanner as part of an overall plan to expand the imaging department at the borough owned regional hospital.

 

The current scanner is a 16-slice imager and nearing the end of its useful life to the medical community. To replace it, the hospital is looking at a 64- or a 128-slice scanner, bettering the current capabilities by four to eight times. The hospital is considering a 64-slice unit at a minimum and a 128-slice unit at the high end, said District 8 Assembly member Bill Smith during the Sept. 3 regular assembly meeting.

“These diagnostic tools are critically important,” Smith said. “This is an important upgrade for the hospital.”

Central Peninsula Hospital CEO Rick Davis last week said that the hospital was looking at several options for the new scanner, but that no choice was yet made.

The hospital’s marketing department was not available Wednesday to say when the final decision regarding which scanner would be made, or when patients might expect the new hardware to be on line and available for their care.

Also known as a CAT scan, the machine uses X-rays combined with computing power to create sliced and segmented images of a whole object, such as the human brain. The more slices a scanner can produce, the more fine the detail for doctors and specialists to consider when providing medical treatment, care and advice to their patients.

The new scanner comes as part of the hospital’s imaging department $3 million expansion that was approved last year. Not sure which model or maker to go with, the hospital sought approval to spend as much as $1.6 million on a new or refurbished scanner.

According to beckerhospitalreview.com, the average vendor quoted price for a new 64-slice scanner is $800,000 and a 128-slice scanner average vendor quoted price is $1.1 million.

The imaging department is one of the busiest in the hospital and is expected to take about 38,000 medical images throughout 2013.

According to Kenai Borough Mayor Mike Navarre, the money to pay for the new scanner is available from the Central Peninsula Hospital Plan Replacement and Expansion Fund.

Plans to buy a new scanner were approved by the Central Kenai Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board on Aug. 12 and the Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. Board of Directors on July 25.

The Kenai Peninsula Assembly Last week approve the spending by unanimous consent. No discussion took place during the meeting, but Davis gave a short presentation and status update during a Finance Committee meeting earlier in the day.

Reach Greg Skinner at greg.skinner@peninsulaclarion.com.

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