Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital was recently awarded a grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to purchase advanced x-ray technology.
The hospital was one of 50 hospitals in North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wyoming to receive more than $14.2 million in grants to address outdated x-ray technology. Trinity Kenmare Community Hospital received a $311,000 grant in early March, said Danielle Alsadon, clinic administrator at the hospital, adding the hospital was among 300 in seven states to apply for the grant.
“Technology has advanced so much, even over the last decade, that these grants, allowing for the purchase of advanced x-ray devices, will provide incredible benefits for medical workers and their patients for the foreseeable future,” explained Walter Panziner, a trustee with the Helmsley Charitable Trust, in a press release issued in late March.
With the grant, the hospital will go digital, an update to the current computerized radiology the hospital has. “Our images will be available to us immediately to be downloaded for the radiologist to read them,” said Sherry Melby, MLT, lab and radiology manager for the hospital. “It’s not like we use old film, as we currently have CR (computerized radiology), but our equipment is old, and this enables us to have all new equipment with DR (digital radiology) technology.”
The hospital will acquire not only a portable digital x-ray machine, but a machine for the radiology-fixed room.
Having digital radiology will enable the hospital to have higher quality images.
“It allows the providers to quickly determine health status,” Melby said. “For us, it gives us the opportunity to offer our patients in the community and outlying communities what they are offering at Trinity Hospital in Minot.”
The updated technology also has decreased radiation exposure and is “a huge increase in efficiency,” Melby added. “When we take the picture, the provider will be able to see right at the bedside,” as opposed to the old system, which required a technician to travel from the emergency room or bedside to the hospital’s basement, where the radiology room is, to develop the pictures.
Alsadon hopes the hospital will be equipped with digital x-rays by this summer.
The hospital sees about 100 patients each month that require x-rays. Melby noted that x-rays are commonly used because of injuries, acute conditions, upper respiratory infections, or trauma to patients.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do it financially without the grant,” Melby said. “I think it’s a great thing that we’re going to have the most updated technology in a small town. Danielle Alsadon was instrumental in getting this grant for us. She deserves a lot of credit and worked hard on writing the grant.”
From this, the technology will offer “good quality images to the people that we serve,” she added. “This is exciting for us.”