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CT scanner savings and opportunities at KLH

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
February 16th, 2011

Although $1.5 million was raised by the CT scanner fundraising campaign, the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation expects to spend only $1.1 million of it to bring the new equipment to the hospital.


Foundation director Brian May confirmed a “unique opportunity” has presented itself as final preparations are being made to complete Kootenay Lake Hospital’s emergency ward and CT suite additions.

“We’re saving some money,” said May.

In recent meetings with the Interior Health Authority it was revealed the General Electric Lightspeed Volumetric CT scanner would be invoiced at $963,000, and additional support equipment and furnishings would add a further $111,000, May said.

With incidental expenses the Foundation expects to pay $1.1 million to bring the new CT scanner service to KLH.

The question for the KLH Foundation is how to allocate the excess funds.

“Our position is that funds will not be spent on operating costs,” said Foundation chair Pat Dooley.

In order to improve diagnostic and emergency care the Foundation will consult with hospital staff and the IHA about enhancement and options, she said.

“This could allow us to buy other major regional equipment, to create a contingency fund for future projects, or both,” she said.

May said the Foundation has already advised their major fundraising partners about the windfall and they all envision the opportunities it presents.

The Foundation received over 3,000 donations toward the CT Scanner and, as is typical in fundraising projects of this magnitude, over 30 per cent of the funds came from seven major donors.

Completion of the new ER and CT scanner suite are anticipated in the summer of this year with the balance of the project completed in Spring 2012.

Cost savings

Thalia Vesterback, director of diagnostic imaging for Interior Health East, advised the Foundation that competition between three potential CT scanner suppliers — and the fact they chose to buy two identical units — were the main factors in bringing the cost of the equipment down.

Since the Trail CT scanner unit was also made by GE, it could simplify regional training and reduce some joint operation costs, she said.

“Except for some cardiac software this is the exact same unit we chose for the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook,” she said. 

In many cases costs for major equipment are shared with the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District (WKBRHD).

In this instance, however, the regional funds were committed to the actual construction portion of the project. WKBRHD committed $5.5 million to the construction and the Foundation committed $1.5 million to the CT Scanner.

The CT scanner

The selected scanner has almost every possible option expected for a top of the line model.

Among other features, the unit will include software to create 128 images from the 64 rows of detectors and to dramatically lower radiation for patients without compromising the images doctors see, said May.

The VCT will capture any static organ in a second; scan a patient from head to toe in five seconds; and capture 3D images of the heart and coronaries in fewer than five heartbeats. Clear images will be possible at submillimeter resolution.

Categories: Health


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