At Bayhealth Diagnostic Imaging, the details matter

September 3, 2013

pan style="font-family: Arial; ">When your doctor orders a diagnostic test, how do you know which facility to trust?   The answer is an easy one, according to John Desiderio, FACHE, MBA, Administrative Director of Operations for Bayhealth’s Diagnostic Imaging Department, who says consumers have a choice.  “Ask your doctor to refer you to one of Bayhealth’s diagnostic centers, which are accredited by the American College of Radiology. Our centers feature low-dose radiation for your safety, as well as the latest and best equipment that provides precise images.”   

Bayhealth, a not-for-profit healthcare system that includes two hospitals, several satellite facilities and more than 3,100 employees, gives patients access to a wide range of services and medical expertise. Diagnostic Imaging is one of many Bayhealth departments providing outpatient care. 

Desiderio offered several reasons to choose Bayhealth for imaging services. "We recently installed a 3 Tesla MRI unit — the only one in Kent County. It's like a higher power camera. It doubles the power of a typical MRI scanner, so it is able to pick up smaller abnormalities. It helps more clearly identify masses as cancerous or benign. We are really proud to provide this sophisticated level of technology to our patients."

“MRI” is short for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. MRIs use magnetism rather than radiation to capture images of the body. MRI technology is one medical advance that has reduced radiation exposure for patients.

In addition to providing exceptional images, the 3 Tesla MRI requires shorter scan times than the typical MRI scanner. Undergoing an MRI can be difficult for some patients, because you have to stay still in the machine for long periods of time, so a shorter overall scan time increases patient comfort and reduces anxiety, Desiderio continued.

"Most people have had a CAT Scan done by age 40," Desiderio said. "It's a prevalent diagnostic tool. At Bayhealth, our physicians have designed protocols that enable us to reduce exposure to the patient by 20 to 30 percent, and we’ve recently installed new X-ray equipment that reduces radiation exposure by 40 percent.

"You won't find such technologically advanced equipment in most independent diagnostic facilities, so it’s important for consumers to be their own advocates and have a say in where their studies are done. In addition to offering the latest technology at Bayhealth, we are accredited by the American College of Radiology, which means that our physicians, staff, and equipment have met very high standards set by the premier organization in the imaging field.  When you visit any Bayhealth Imaging facility you can be assured that you are receiving the highest level of quality and care.”

Another advantage unique to the hospital environment is the number and expertise of the radiologists who interpret patient tests. An imaging center may have one radiologist (physician) to interpret a variety of different types of studies or modalities.  However, that radiologist may be trained in only one modality, such as X-ray, MRI or CAT Scan. They may be excellent in interpreting MRI’s, but not as skilled in interpreting CAT Scans.

"Bayhealth has 13 fellowship-trained radiologists, each one with expertise in various modalities. They've spent extra years training in order to perfect their considerable expertise. In a large group setting, like Bayhealth, the radiologists are able to consult with each other to ensure that your images are interpreted with the greatest degree of accuracy,” Desiderio said.

"We have gone to great lengths to provide our community with the best and the brightest radiologists from some of the most prestigious universities in the country, such as Thomas Jefferson University, Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Maryland and Stanford University.  There is no need to travel to a distant academic medical center for first-class imaging.  Bayhealth Imaging offers first-class care close to home.”

To further demonstrate its commitment to excellence, Bayhealth has been designated a "Breast Imaging Center of Excellence" by the American College of Radiology. This means that Bayhealth has been recognized for offering a full range of breast imaging services utilizing quality equipment operated by an exceptional staff. 

Like the physicians, Bayhealth technologists are all accredited by a national accrediting body, which means that the staff has met or surpassed the industry standard of training in their imaging field of study.  

While a radiologist interprets the images, he or she is dependent upon the technologist to take the correct images and to demonstrate the suspected pathology in the best possible way. 

"We do not hire anyone without that added credential," Desiderio explained. 

Many people may not be aware of the role that nurses play in diagnostic imaging at Bayhealth. Nurses are highly trained caregivers who are able to deal with any emergency that may arise in an imaging situation — contrast reactions, for example, or other medical issues. 

Desiderio added there are benefits to having all imaging done in one place. "If you have all your images here, we'll have your complete medical history available at our fingertips. We see the whole picture and can provide a more precise treatment plan.”

Hospitals are often perceived as places that are not very patient friendly. Desiderio said that Bayhealth is committed to changing that perception. “Our goal is to provide excellent care to every patient, every time. We take the time to introduce ourselves, explain exactly what you can expect during your visit, and answer your questions. As a consumer, you have choices, and we want to provide you with an extraordinary experience.” 

Desiderio has been with Bayhealth for nine years. "I got into healthcare to make a difference in people's lives. I am proud to be part of a community hospital that continuously seeks to improve upon the service it provides to our patients.”

Summing it up, Desiderio said, "The imaging services we provide at Bayhealth are truly impressive; however, I am not sure that the communities we serve are fully aware of the resources available to them. At Bayhealth, we don’t want you to think of us as the healthcare provider you have to go to for care — we want to be the healthcare provider that you are proud to go to for care."

Learn more at www.bayhealth.org. Or call 302-744-7060 in Kent County or 302-430-5707 in 

Sussex County for an appointment. 

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