GREAT NECK, NY – The North Shore-LIJ Health System announced today that it completed the last phase of a $50 million, three-year project to upgrade its diagnostic imaging systems. The final phase cost $12 million and included installing 15 computed tomography (CT) scanners at its healthcare facilities in the metropolitan area to reduce patients’ exposure to radiation and provide the highest quality imaging.
CT technology is a critical tool for diagnosis and early detection of cancers, cardiac disease, neurological problems, trauma, inflammation and other conditions.
Last June, North Shore-LIJ announced at a news conference its purchase of 15 GE low dose CT scanners for 10 of its facilities on Long Island and in New York City. This initiative was part of the first, $50 million step in an on-going effort by the health system to replace or update all of its conventional diagnostic imaging systems through quality initiatives designed to assure cutting edge technological capabilities while also assuring patient safety . In addition to the equipment, North Shore-LIJ also installed system-wide monitoring software, which tracks radiation exposure by CT, creating a database that monitors levels of emission and helps radiologists adjust their practices based on the latest clinical evidence.
“North Shore-LIJ is one of the first health systems in the country to replace or upgrade all of its diagnostic imaging equipment to reduce patients’ risks to radiation exposure,” said Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive officer of North Shore-LIJ. “This initiative is a significant investment in our commitment to move beyond treating illness but also to protect public health.”
The Joint Commission, the nation’s top hospital and healthcare accrediting organization, issued a sentinel alert about the long-term radiation risks of diagnostic imaging in 2011. Jason Naidich, MD, chairman of radiology at North Shore-LIJ, said the health system was already planning its major project to upgrade its CTs and radiology equipment when the report made national news.
“North Shore-LIJ has a comprehensive radiology safety program across its hospitals and outpatient imaging facilities,” Dr. Naidich said. “Our radiology physicians, technologists, and physicists are specifically trained in radiation safety and are committed to limiting patients’ exposure to the lowest dose necessary to make the proper diagnosis.
“We offer low-dose CT imaging in every community the health system serves and all of our emergency departments are equipped with the most-up-to-date, low-dose CT scanners,” Dr. Naidich said. “This is important for everyone, but especially for children and young adults who may be more susceptible to harm from radiation exposure over time.”
“When used appropriately, CT is a safe tool that can save lives. At North Shore – LIJ, our patients can be confident that we are using this innovative technology to make their imaging procedures even safer.”
For more information about North Shore-LIJ Imaging, call 1-855-377-3456.