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Community Health Needs Assessment

Blue Hill Memorial Hospital Making Improvements in Diagnostic Imaging

Release Date: 04/10/2014

Blue Hill Memorial Hospital (BHMH) Diagnostic Imaging announces new and expanded services for patients.  In addition to increased MRI availability, stress echocardiograms and the arrival of a new, state-of-the-art nuclear medicine camera are now offered in conjunction with Blue Hill Cardiovascular Medicine; all offering patients greater access to scheduling diagnostic tests close to home.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a medical imaging technique used to diagnose a variety of issues, was previously offered at BHMH only on Wednesdays. Now, MRI is now offered on both Wednesdays and Saturdays.  MRI scanners use strong magnets to form images of the body. Amy Houghton RT(R)(M)(BD), Diagnostic Imaging manager, says of the increased availability, “Saturday appointments can be so convenient for those patients who depend on either a ride from someone who works, or for someone who may have difficulty getting time off from work for appointments. Our patients have already expressed their appreciation for these changes.”

BHMH also began offering Stress Echocardiography in March.  Stress echos are a service that combines two departments working together, imaging and cardiology. We have had traditional resting echocardiography for many years, using ultrasound imaging to assess heart function. Stress Echocardiography combines supervised exercise along with ultrasound pictures of the heart before and immediately after exercise to assess cardiac function under an increased cardiac workload.  This is a brand new service for BHMH, one that required patients to travel to another facility in the past. 

BHMH Nuclear Medicine is excited to prepare for a state-of-the-art dual headed camera. This new camera will make obtaining higher quality images possible with faster image acquisition. “Our new camera will not only provide more comfort to patients with faster imaging and less time on the table, but produce images of higher quality for the radiologist and cardiologist resulting in the most accurate of diagnoses,” explains Houghton. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures, with the exception of a possible intravenous injection, are usually painless. Depending on the type of nuclear medicine exam, a radiopharmaceutical is either injected into the body or swallowed. Radioactive emissions from the material injected or ingested are detected by the camera that in turn produce the images.

For more information on these services please visit www.bhmh.org or call Blue Hill Diagnostic Imaging at 374-3999 or Blue Hill Cardiovascular Medicine at 374-3930.

Amy Houghton RT(R)(M)(BD) was recently appointed by Governor Paul LePage, as a member of the Maine State Board of Radiologic Board of Examiners, a branch of the office of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The board is comprised of nine members consisting of radiologists, radiographers, a nuclear medicine technologist, radiation therapists, a radiation physicist and two public representatives.

Working in conjunction with the Attorney General’s office, the board is tasked with serving and protecting the public’s interest from dishonest, unethical and substandard practitioners. Houghton will have the opportunity to advocate for patient safety and quality. Duties of the board include the review of qualifications of applicants, approval of qualifying examinations, and review of complaints made against licensees.

As a member of the Diagnostic Imaging department and manager at BHMH for four years, Houghton feels that it is an honor to have been selected by Governor LePage to serve as a member of this board. “It is an unparalleled opportunity for an imaging department in a critical access hospital to have representation where decisions regarding imaging standards are made.”

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