The Penticton Regional Hospital is ushering in a new era of X-Ray capabilities with a $1.5 million upgrade to the digital imaging department.
The South Okanagan-Similkameen Medical Foundation (SOSMF) raised $1.5 million in 2013 for the upgrade, which features new, portable and state-of-the-art radiography equipment which will replace the older technology in the hospital’s three X-Ray rooms.
The new and portable equipment does away with the heavy cassettes that were previously required to be transferred to another machine. Now, with the push of a button, the image appears almost instantly, which is handy if it needs to be retaken, and can be sent where it needs to go without leaving the room.
This is good news for the estimated 41,000 patients that come through the digital imaging department doors per year.
“It should reduce the wait time for patients because the exams can move a lot quicker,” said Shannon Carver, professional practice leader of diagnostic imaging for the South Okanagan.
Janice Perrino, executive director of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Medical Foundation, said this addition makes the Penticton Regional Hospital one of the few in the province to be fully digitized.
“We’re very proud of this,” Perrino said. “It’s faster, it’s less radiation and it’s better quality. It’s the way health care should be and Penticton Regional Hospital has it for our region. It’s made possible by the donors,” Perrino said.
“We were able to work with our colleagues at the table to make sure we combined the health dollars with the community dollars to make this project work and that was the most exciting part,” Perrino said.
She added that the $1.5 million was raised through fundraising efforts for Interior Health.
“That’s your $20, your $100, your $1,000. The Summerland Healthcare Auxiliary put in $300,000, Mr. and Mrs. Nodwell put in $250,000, it was that kind of thing. That’s what made it work. Every $20 donation that came forward made it happen,” Perrino said.
Another upgrade to the PRH, the new residence for locum physicians and medical students now has its first tenant who moved in Sunday.
The six-bedroom Jobling House, named after Lloyd and Lota Jobling who donated $500,000 towards the creation of the facility, will replace the aging older residence which has been the home to visiting students for 30 years.