"We are now on par with the technology Springfield offers," said Janell Patton, director of community relations.
According to MRI technologists Heidi Elbert and Janet Andrews, the outer shell of the MRI unit, which generates images from inside the body, remains the same. A new computer system and platform, plus an upgraded magnet, provides images at a much higher resolution than had previously been available.
"This new upgrade will allow us to scan even the smallest part of the body, such as facial nerves, pituitary tumors, wrists and hands and adrenal glands," said Elbert. "We will be able to scan more advanced studies such as abdomens, MRCP's and renals, which were limited due to our 9x software. The 15x software will allow us to reformat necessary images, which are preferred by our radiologist for top quality imaging."
The equipment enables technologists in Monett to do Fluro-trigger, which allows a view in real time in contrast to flow throughs. The broader area can be imaged and seen in higher resolution.
Elbert anticipated the hospital would see a 30 percent increase in MRI activity because of the new capacity. Some physicians did not order specific tests locally, referring the more detailed views to another site.
The upgraded MRI has been in service in Monett for the past four weeks. The unit is in a mobile vehicle that comes to Cox Monett Hospital on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays and Fridays, the unit is in use at the Cox Health Center in Cassville.
For additional information, contact the community relations office at 354-1409.