Sponsored Content | Case Study | Cardiac Imaging | November 11, 2015 | Sponsored by Toshiba America Medical Systems

St. Mary’s Health Care System Builds Cardiac MR Offering With Toshiba’s Vantage Titan 1.5T

Situation: St. Mary’s Health Care System had established one of the premier imaging departments in its area. With a growing patient population of 541,561 across 14 local counties, St. Mary’s knew that it needed to continue building upon its strong imaging capabilities to remain ahead of the competition. An important area of focus was to develop a new service line for cardiac magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Doing this required St. Mary’s to upgrade its existing MR technology.

Solution: To achieve these goals, St. Mary’s turned to Toshiba’s Encore Titan customer loyalty program to upgrade its existing Vantage 1.5T MR systems to the more advanced Vantage Titan 1.5T. With an innovative suite of technologies including CardioLine, enhanced visualization technology and the M-Power user interface, the upgraded systems allowed St. Mary’s to add cardiac MR imaging and create a competitive advantage in the market.

Benefits:

• Expanded Offerings: The Titan 1.5T’s comprehensive technologies and simple upgrade path helps healthcare providers to stay one step ahead of the changing patient and business environment. 

• Efficient Business Solution: The Encore Titan customer loyalty program allows Toshiba Vantage 1.5T customers to upgrade their systems to the Titan 1.5T with significantly less downtime for installation and a lower total cost of ownership.

• Cardiac Imaging: CardioLine is a fully automated cardiac positioning alignment tool that automatically detects anatomical landmarks for accurate and reproducible positioning to complete alignment of six standard cardiac views without any operator interaction.  

St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Ga.

St. Mary’s added cardiac MR imaging to create a competitive advantage in the market.

In the wake of healthcare reform, facilities have found it essential to offer the most comprehensive solutions to their patients without compromising workflow or business needs. But this necessity begs the question: How does a facility expand its imaging offerings to remain competitive without compromising quality of care or cost of ownership? 

Maintaining a Competitive Edge

St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, Ga., serves 14 counties, including 541,561 patients, and is within a very competitive healthcare market. St. Mary’s knew that it needed to continue building upon its strong imaging capabilities to remain ahead of the competition. They decided it was time to upgrade its MR offerings and establish a new cardiac MR service line to assist in providing better care for its patient community.

“It is crucial that we maintain cutting-edge technology to deliver the most advanced patient care, while taking into consideration the new financial reality,” said Jeff Brown, R.T., director, Radiology and Cardiovascular Service, St. Mary’s. “To increase our strength in diagnostic imaging, we identified that there was a need in the community for cardiac MR services and decided to upgrade our MR equipment.”

Enhancing Services Without Compromise

Using Toshiba’s Encore Titan customer loyalty program, St. Mary’s upgraded its two existing Vantage 1.5T MR systems to the more advanced Vantage Titan 1.5T. They were able to upgrade their systems with significantly less operational downtime and reduced their cost of ownership, giving it an expanded service set for its patients without compromising the needs of its business. 

The Titan 1.5Ts included the CardioLine technology, a fully automated cardiac positioning alignment tool exclusively from Toshiba. This assists clinicians in conducting quality scans while reducing the number of positioning steps and breath holds, improving workflow efficiency and the overall patient experience.

“From the time we started the cardiac MRI program at St. Mary’s, Toshiba’s CardioLine technology has made a significant impact,” said Erick Avelar, M.D., medical director, Cardiac MRI and CT, St. Mary’s. “The system reduces cardiac plane scanning time from 10 minutes to one, and decreases breath hold time, which is frequently a challenge when scanning cardiac patients.”

In addition to CardioLine, the Titan 1.5T includes numerous patient comfort features, including a wider bore and the Pianissimo noise reduction technology. This meant that the more anxious patients, a significant concern for the department, were able to have more comfortable exams. Exams were also easier to perform and workflow improved with the Titan 1.5T’s M-Power user interface.  

“The Encore program allowed us to upgrade both of our systems for the price of buying one scanner,” said Brown. “Once we started imaging patients, we immediately were getting compliments about how much more comfortable the scanner was with the wider bore and noise reduction technology.”

These upgrades have greatly impacted St. Mary’s MR business, which is expected to grow by 7 percent in 2015. With the Encore program, the hospital has implemented technology that benefits both patient and provider, expanded its service offerings and helped it maintain its place as a healthcare leader.

Case study supplied by Toshiba America Medical Systems.

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