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ACCESS: Reducing Wait Times 

Diagnostic Detectives: (4/4) 
Working Together to Reduce Wait Times and Improve Patient Service 
Published on Connect Magazine, Fall 2011
“We have purchased 16 state-of-the-art ultrasound machines throughout the Eastern Health region, as a result of $3 million dollars in government funding,” adds Dr. Rick Bhatia. “An additional provincial investment of $350,000 has allowed us to hire additional staff, and these increased resources, along with our staff’s commitment to improved turnaround for these tests, has translated into very good news for those we serve.”
In recent months, the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology has also introduced a number of advanced treatment options. Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) was implemented at the Health Sciences Centre in September 2010. RFA is used to destroy cancerous tumours in patients who are not good candidates for surgery. A probe is inserted into the tumour, and essentially ‘fries’ it, rendering it harmless.
This technique is currently used at Eastern Health to treat tumours in the liver, but will eventually be expanded for use on other organs as well.

Early in 2011, echocardiography service was introduced in the Carbonear General Hospital. This is an ultrasound of the heart which tests for cardiac
function and valve disease and the expanded service will help to address the current demand in this diagnostic field.
“These advances in both treatment options and access to our diagnostic services helps to ensure patient care that is both timely and of high quality,” says Rick. “Simply put: the earlier the diagnosis, the more effective the treatment. I am delighted with the progress that has been made; however, we must continue to strive for additional improvements in the months ahead.” 
Seconding that motion are 36 radiologists, 17 residents, 260 clerks and technologists and 11 managers. With a team as focused and strongly resolute as that, it’s no mystery that the future of diagnostic imaging and interventional radiology for Eastern Health is bright. ■
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Updated Jan 10, 2012