We’re Evolving Our Technology to Meet Your Needs

There are several exciting changes being made at Decatur County Hospital, all in pursuit of providing the quality care that you deserve. With the addition of on-site modern equipment, we will be able to increase our capability to diagnose and treat a wider range of health concerns such as cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, endocrine abnormalities (diabetes, thyroid issues, and more), neurological disorders, and other health conditions. The next piece of new equipment to become available at DCH is our nuclear medicine machine. While we currently offer access to this scanning technology through a mobile service, we are upgrading our capability by adding a brand new machine on-site in our radiology department.

With this technology on-site at Decatur County Hospital, it will allow for more appointment availability so that patients get the appropriate testing they need, with the comfort of being indoors, close to home, and without waiting weeks or even months for a diagnosis and a proper course of action to treat complex health disorders. Once installed and configured, we will start offering nuclear medicine scanning services 6 (six) days each month, with the ability to expand availability in the future as needed.

So, what does this mean for our community? Nuclear medicine imaging uses small amounts of radioactive material, a special scanner, and a computer to create images of the inside of your body. It provides unique information that often cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures. Nuclear medicine is used in the treatment of many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, endocrine abnormalities (diabetes, thyroid issues, and more), neurological disorders, and other health conditions. Because nuclear medicine procedures are able to pinpoint molecular activity within the body, they may detect disease in its earliest stages when it is most easily treated.

Our new machine, the NM 830 by GE, brings the top-of-the-line capability to reduce dose or scan times by up to 25 percent, which provies shorter, more tolerable exams for greater patient comfort. The technology of this equipment allows us to develop a treatment plan for disease quickly, and specialists can also use the SwiftScan Planar and SwiftScan SPECT’s small lesion detectability which may help recognize disease in earlier stages.

The addition of nuclear medicine also enhances our cardiac stress testing program. If your health care provider suggests a cardiac stress test to assess your heart health, you don’t have to travel far from home to get results. At Decatur County Hospital, we provide stress testing in a caring and secure environment with an expert team.

Stress testing is a routine test that is done to help diagnose coronary artery disease, determine the cause of heart rhythm problems, guide cardiac treatment for new or chronic conditions, or to check your heart before surgery. The test provides your doctor with a look at how your heart works during physical activity, when problems with blood flow are typically amplified. Once these problems are diagnosed, you and your health care team can work together to develop a customized plan to address them.

At Decatur County Hospital, our stress testing takes place in a monitored setting, with a team of experts at your side. Our team includes a nurse, a provider (doctor or ARNP), and a nuclear medicine technician as needed. This team ensures that your test is performed safely and accurately. Once the results of your test are completed, the information is shared with your care team to develop a treatment plan, or further guide the next steps in your cardiac health journey.

A stress test can be an uncomfortable experience, but is a necessary tool to ensure your cardiac health is being addressed appropriately. The DCH stress test team will help ease your fears, and ensure you receive the best care possible from our compassionate employees. We have the specialists you need to provide the care you deserve.