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Olympic Radiology ups the ante for patient care

$1.2 million MRI machine expands scanning capabilities.

Olympic Radiology of Bremerton recently purchased a $1.2 million advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to raise the bar for patient-care standards.

The Achieva 1.5T is the only MRI device of its kind in Kitsap County.

Installed in March, the system shortens exam times, improves image clarity and expands diagnostic capabilities, making the MRI process more efficient for patients.

“The Achieva 1.5T MR system we have installed incorporates the very latest technology and provides exceptional image quality in the most patient-friendly environment,” Olympic Radiologist Administrator Michele Sauer said.

Olympic Radiology is locally owned and operated and has serviced the West Sound since 1983, nearly 25 years.

Now, patients are coming from outside Kitsap County to use the Achieva 1.5T.

“In the past, patients would have had to travel to Seattle for this level of technology,” services manager Allyson Metters said. “Now, some Seattle neurosurgeons have referred patients here, because of the 1.5T and its capabilities.”

The device includes 16 simultaneous coil elements, a 33-element neuro-vascular coil and SmartExam software that allows consistent scanning for all patients.

“It allows our radiologists to identify potential problems and provide referring physicians with more information for a more accurate diagnosis,” Metters said. “You can see soft tissue and small features in real time, all with a high level of patient comfort.”

And while patients’ needs change, Sauer said Olympic Radiology strives to stay on par with current technology.

“In keeping with our philosophy to be the center of excellence for medical imaging in the west Puget Sound, we diligently monitor the ongoing changes in imaging technology,” she explained. “The Achieva 1.5T MRI system’s new hardware and software technology, delivered a leap forward...”

After three-plus months using the new device, Olympic’s radiologists are pleased with the machine’s capabilities.

“The post-processing capabilities are outstanding, allowing us to spin the images to view things we were not capable of viewing in the past,” radiology technologist Pam Neatherlin said. “Patient reaction has been positive as well.”

The Achieva 1.5T doesn’t expose patients to radiation either, another perk to the new device.

“Now we can see things as well as ever before without the risks (of radiation) involved,” Sauer said.

She said Olympic Radiology tries to notify referring clinicians of test results as soon as possible, something the new machine allows the physicians to do.

“They want to know the answer,” she explained of the patients. “Generally we will have results today or tomorrow, and phone results are available within hours.”

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