Patients Urged to Consider CRH for Radiology Needs

By Lura Jackson

With fewer and fewer patients utilizing radiology services at Calais Regional Hospital [CRH], the department is reaching out to urge the community to consider CRH for a wide range of diagnostic needs. The Radiology Department, which offers quality-certified services, is one of the key means in which the hospital derives its financial stability – meaning if it is not being utilized, the hospital is put under even greater financial stress.

The Radiology Department offers an extensive array of services, including regular diagnostic X-rays and EKGs, CT scans, MRIs, bone density scans, mammography, ultrasounds and echocardiograms, cardiac stress testing, bone scans, thyroid scans, HIDA scans, gastric emptying, and minor intestinal radiology, including thyroid biopsies, liver biopsies, and paracentesis. None of its services have been reduced or impacted at all by the hospital’s ongoing efforts to restructure itself to keep afloat.

Among its radiology services, CRH’s mammography department has received two national-level awards for its high-quality results. The department has received an award from the American College of Radiology for the clarity of its scans as well as meeting the Mammography Quality Standards Act requirements.

Radiology Director Kristy Surles says that she believes the decrease in usage may be a result of a change in how diagnostic scans are scheduled. Rather than patients calling directly themselves and setting up an appointment, the order for the scan is faxed to Central Scheduling, which then reaches out to the patient to make the appointment. “I think that may be the hiccup,” Surles said. “People aren’t getting that instant gratification.”

To help make it easier for patients to make their appointments, Surles suggests that any patient needing to make a radiology appointment call the department directly at 454-9226. Alternatively, patients can call Surles herself at 454-9283. Patients with special requests – such as having three appointments in one day, or having their appointment accommodate their work schedule – are particularly encouraged to call the department itself. “We will try to work with them to make every reasonable accommodation,” Surles said.

Another step the department has taken is to offer its basic X-ray scan on a walk-in basis. Patients needing an X-ray can simply come to the department from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and have their scan done.

 

“We’re to the point that if they can get through the door we’re going to do the scan, because I’ve got staff sitting and waiting to do something,” Surles said. “To keep the doors open, we need people to come through them.”