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CT scan shifts to 24-7 service

It happened on the first but it was no April Fool’s joke.

The CT scanner at Shuswap Lake General Hospital is now available on a 24-7 basis.

As promised by Interior Health, on-call service was made available and regular hours Monday through Friday were extended by an hour.

As well, a third technologist was hired to help put more patients through during the new regular hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and to reduce the on-call commitment for the other two technologists.

Not only have the extended hours allowed for an increase of CT scans from 14 to 20-25 daily, as of Friday, on-call service has been utilized about 10 times, says radiologist Dr. Kevin Beckner.

“With respect to wait lists, we are now able to book non-urgent cases, which we weren’t able to do when last we talked,” he says of a previous Observer story. “The wait for non-urgents is in the neighbourhood of three months, similar to other sites. Urgents are done in a timely manner as indicated by the condition or in the time frame indicated by the physician asking for the test.”

The only fly in the ointment is that while local techs are called in to do the scans, they are sent via Internet to an on-call radiologist in Vernon, rather than being assessed by local radiologists.

“We set up the on-call service and got it going, and our preference was to be involved,” Beckner says, noting the scans are viewed immediately by the on-call radiologist. “They said this is the way it is now, and this is not permanent. This is the current model, and can be adjusted as need requires.”

Dr. Brian Ayotte, president of the Shuswap Lake Hospital Foundation, is delighted that 24-7 CT scan service is available, particularly since Shuswap residents donated the $1.5 needed to buy the scanner within one year.

 

“I think the community should know IHA has done their part. “It’s a big relief and the community can be even more proud of their generosity,” he says. “It is playing an even greater role than it has over the past 18 months and I think hospital and medical staff are happy with this increase in service.”

 

 

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