Cornwall Ontario — A picture’s worth a thousand words. The MRI Suite in The Rose and David Bloomfield Diagnostic Centre of Excellence at Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) has been working non-stop ever since it became operational in April. Inside its protective copper-lined chamber rests the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine which continues to be the source of so much pride within the community. The machine’s heartbeat lets out a steady “hum” to let you know it’s ready for the next patient.
The Diagnostic Imaging (DI) Department has already performed over 750 MRI scans since it opened its doors in late April. Since that time the service has expanded from scanning only brains, spines, and some musculoskeletal areas like knees and hips, to now where it looks at almost the entire body including abdomens, kidneys, liver, pancreas and gall bladders. The machine puts in a full work week, starting at 0800h and clocking out at 1600h Monday to Friday. During those eight hours it sees roughly 12 patients who are in need of a scan of anything from torn ligaments around joints, or searching for abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. MRI scans are painless and create more detailed pictures of the body than you would get with an X-ray. “We like to refer to it as “the community’s magnet,” and we are confident that we are currently meeting the high volume demands of the community,” said Jennifer Barkley, Director of Diagnostic Services.
Wait times in the region have seen a drop for procedures like that now available in Cornwall. Barkley explained how wait times weren’t the only thing positively affected by introducing this new technology at CCH. “Along with expressing their appreciation for the building as a whole, patients have also been grateful for not having to make the commute to Ottawa or Kingston to have their scans done.”
The state-of-the-art piece of medical technology helped evolve CCH into a more multi-faceted healthcare facility. “It seems like ever since the MRI was turned on everything else has fallen into place. The digital urology table installed upstairs, the new obstetrical ultrasound equipment, and the improvements to the hospital have all been major stepping stones toward our constant goal of enhancing the overall patient experience,” stated Barkley. “It’s services like these that people are looking for when coming to work or be treated in a hospital.”
The facility will continue to expand as the Capital Redevelopment Project nears its completion date. The exterior of the building is getting a serious facelift with a fresh façade and the demolition of the old Emergency entrance. By the end of 2014, all of the Second Street Site amenities including Mental Health Services, the Total Joint Assessment Clinic, and the Dialysis Unit will be consolidated onto one site at 840 McConnell Avenue.
“It’s certainly going to be a great convenience when it’s all finished,” said Jeanette Despatie, CEO and inaugural MRI test patient. “No longer will patients have to travel between both sites to get treatment. This will be the home to all of their healthcare needs, further demonstrating our commitment to providing the highest possible quality of care.”