Bayhealth provides state of the art MRI services and skilled radiologists to interpret the results

September 14, 2014
 Your doctor says you need an MRI. What kind of test is that, and where should you get it done? In brief, an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is a process that uses intense magnetic fields and radio waves to produce two-dimensional images of the inside of the body. MRI machines provide detailed anatomy of the body which can be used to identify abnormalities noninvasively. An MRI scanner works on the principle of magnetism, not radiation; therefore, it is an extremely safe method of diagnosing certain disease processes.  
So where would you go to have an MRI done? Choosing the right facility for your MRI is as important as choosing the right doctor for your routine check-up or surgery. You want a facility with the best equipment and doctors with the best training to interpret those tests. Many patients think all MRI scanners and all MRI centers are equal, but that is not the case. 
Dr. Amit Newatia, Bayhealth MRI clinical director, compares MRI to photography. “Think about taking photographs with a cell phone camera in a dim room without flash. You’re going to get a grainy photo without much detail. If you increase the light in the room and take the photo with a digital SLR camera, the photo will look much better. An MRI machine works on the same principle. The human body emits energy that the MRI machine can detect and turn into a picture. A strong MRI machine delivers sharper and more detailed images that provide greater clinical information. Greater detail may allow for earlier detection and potentially improved outcomes.” 
Bayhealth offers diagnostic imaging services throughout the state of Delaware from Middletown to Milton. A network of facilities is available to meet the needs of patients and their families. Centers are located near where you work or live or play and provide ample parking, same day or next day appointments, comfortable environments and exceptional customer service.
Bayhealth has a 3 Tesla MRI unit — the only one in Kent County. It doubles the power of a typical MRI scanner, so it is able to pick up even smaller abnormalities and requires shorter scan times than other scanners. Bayhealth also has the strongest available open MRI in Smyrna at 1.2 Tesla.
According to Dr. Newatia, “The difference is not just in the strength of the machine. Having a strong machine is important, but not enough. MRI machines require coils and software to function effectively. These components also impact image quality. The difference in software is like comparing an old computer with a new model. The machines have different capabilities and different software. Over time, MRI machines become outdated and need frequent updating and/or replacement. This requires significant financial investments. Many MRI facilities cannot routinely carry out these necessary updates due to budget constraints. Bayhealth continues to upgrade equipment as needed so that it can provide the best quality images for its patients.”
Once an MRI has been performed, it needs to be interpreted by a radiologist. Radiologists are doctors who receive five to six years of additional training after medical school. Some Imaging Centers have one radiologist to read all types of imaging such as MRI, CAT scan, x-ray and ultrasound. They are good radiologists but they are most likely not specially trained. This is important because the MRI pictures are only as good as the information the radiologist can extract from them.  
Dr. Newatia said, “Think about a famous painting or work of art. Anyone can look at it and provide basic information about what they see, but someone who has studied art history can give you a better understanding of the intricate details in that work of art. Radiologists with fellowship training are able to extract more information out of the MRI images and therefore provide more meaningful reports. This in turn improves patient care.” 
Bayhealth has more than 15 board-certified radiologists. The radiologists who interpret MRIs at Bayhealth have not only trained in radiology, but have gone even further to specialize in one area of radiology, such as MRI. They’ve trained at major health care institutions including University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland and the National Institute of Health.
Having several radiologists on staff is also an advantage that you can’t get at a “one-doc shop,” said John Desiderio FACHE, MBA, administrative director of operations for Bayhealth’s Diagnostic Imaging department. “Our radiologists can go to a colleague for another opinion, right in the next cubicle.”
According to Dr. Newatia, “We have introduced a number of new procedures that are only being performed at the best academic centers because of our equipment, our highly trained technologists and our expertise in interpretation. Other hospitals or imaging centers may have the equipment but not the level of expertise provided by the radiologists at Bayhealth.” 
Since Dr. Newatia arrived five years ago, Bayhealth has started doing a number of new procedures such as cardiac MRIs, noninvasive staging of rectal cancer, high resolution staging of prostate cancer, non-contrast imaging of the blood vessels, MR Enterography and much more. 
“Cardiac MRI,” said Dr. Newatia, “is a fantastic way to look at the heart. Our ultrafast MRI machines allow us to obtain detailed images of the beating heart. It is a highly effective way to determine if the patient has had a heart attack in the past and if so, how much damage has been done to the heart muscle. Evaluating the degree of damage to the heart after a heart attack helps determine if the patient will benefit from bypass surgery and to see if there are other areas in the heart that are at risk. We can also use cardiac MRI to differentiate a heart attack from inflammation in the heart which can mimic a heart attack. These things cannot be seen with an echocardiogram. We can also look at the heart valves to determine if they are leaky or too tight. We are able to provide such advanced MRI services at Bayhealth due to our commitment to excellence and desire to provide cutting edge care to our patients.”   
Dr. Newatia has also provided extensive training to the technologists (who perform the MRIs) to implement the many new studies and make sure that the protocols are followed correctly. More importantly, he is making sure that the imaging protocols are well understood by the technologists. “I’m teaching the technologists what I’m looking for when I interpret the images.” In conferences he regularly conducts with the technologists, he shares images of the kind of pathology to look for and goes over important anatomy. “I explain the ‘why’ behind the images and this helps them scan at a superior level.”
Bottom line, you can have an MRI done by any imaging facility. Medicare and most insurers pay the same regardless of the quality of your study. Why not get the best? When making medical decisions for you or your family you can choose the testing facility.
Desiderio summed it up: “We care about our patients and want to do the best we can for them in terms of providing unsurpassed, high-quality imaging services. We have built an excellent MRI program at Bayhealth. We have the best equipment, the best staff and the best doctors, but we have always kept the most important thing at the center of our efforts – the patient. We can provide our patients with the highest level of care available in our area. Your good health is our passion. We would be honored if you would choose Bayhealth for your next MRI and for all your Imaging needs.” 
For more information, or to schedule an MRI, call 302-744-7060 or 302-430-5707. Or, visit online at www.bayhealth.org and look for Diagnostic Imaging under Medical Services.
 
 
 
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