Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) has become one of the first in the nation to be approved for digital chest X-rays, hospital administrator Jason Cleckler reports.
Using the latest digital imaging, chest X-rays required of all coal miners at pre-employment, and at different intervals during their employment, may now be transmitted more efficiently, quickly and cost effectively.
In addition, coal miners may obtain chest X-rays every day, rather than just twice a week as in the past.
Coal miners from the Western Slope of Colorado, northern New Mexico and Utah have traveled to the Delta hospital for their chest X-rays, as it is one of the only hospitals in the region which continues to offer that service. Many hospitals stopped offering chest X-rays to miners when their radiology departments upgraded to digital imaging. DCMH continued to operate the older imaging processor that required changing out chemicals and higher maintenance costs solely to help the coal miners and their employers.
For the past 18 months the radiology department at the Delta hospital has worked cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program to create the procedures and protocol for sending and receiving digital chest X-rays. This government agency and the hospital worked together sending test images that would be secure for patients to ensure their medical records would not be compromised when they were sent digitally, in compliance with federal patient privacy regulations (HIPPA).
"DCMH radiology became a test site with NIOSH in 2010. We have worked diligently with NIOSH for the past 18 months to accomplish the goal of sending coal miners' chest X-rays digitally," explained Jeff Richmond, Delta County Memorial Hospital's manager of radiology.
This improvement saves an estimated $13,000 a year that was previously spent on supplies and maintenance.
"Our Delta County hospital recognizes the economic impact of coal mining companies and their mine employees. This hospital strives to offer medical services needed by our county, such as chest X-rays for the coal miners. We also work with coal mine companies to offer on-site, coal mine health fairs to mine employees with blood pressure checks, blood work, flu vaccine shots, tetanus shots, and cardio vascular assessments," Cleckler stated.
Delta County Memorial Hospital has two fulltime radiologists on staff, in addition to 26 radiological technologists.
For more information on the hospital's radiology department services call 874-2214 or 874-2215.blog comments powered by Disqus