Technology advances contniue to bring modern care to Northwest Indiana 

Aug 26


From robotic surgical arms slicing cuts so precise, they can peel the skin off a grape to mammography equipment that provides three-dimensional breast screenings to 64-slice CT scanners, hospitals in the region continue to invest millions of dollars into technology as they compete to offer the most cutting edge services.

The new Porter Regional Hospital features 78 percent new equipment. Aside from providing the latest care, the technology in the hospital offers convenience and efficiency, such as its electronic medical records and at-a-glance, real-time patient status and location monitors.

"The level of technology and level of efficiency are ultimately better for the region as a whole," Porter Hospital CEO Jonathan Nalli said.

Among its recent advancements, Franciscan St. Anthony Health hospital in Crown Point opened the Burrell Cancer Radiation Oncology Center, which houses the Trilogy Linear Accelerator. It uses microwave technology to more quickly, efficiently and effectively treat cancer patients while causing fewer side effects.

Methodist Hospitals CEO Ian McFadden said Methodist has invested in the Gamma Knife, three-dimensional mammography, electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy and computer-assisted surgery suite, among other technologies, to lead the region in complex, high-level acute care.

“But it is not about just buying whatever are the latest bells and whistles,” McFadden said. “It is about always looking at how medicine is changing and focusing on what we need to do to make those changes happen for the people of Northwest Indiana.”

Community Hospital CEO Donald Fesko said it is part of the business to offer patients advanced technology to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate.

“Medicine is an evolving practice, and, as such, there are always new advancements to treat medical or surgical conditions,” Fesko said. “By offering the latest in medical treatment options, our patients benefit by not having to leave their home community to access these advancements, and physicians are attracted to practice medicine at a facility that reinvests in technology. It is good for everybody.”

In this age of consumerism, patients want the best equipment, said Gene Diamond, Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Region CEO.

“Every patient who comes here expects us to treat them with the latest technology,” he said.

Diamond anticipates the role of robots in hospitals will follow the path of MRI machines. Only a few were available when MRIs were first introduced, and now they are common.

“Pretty soon, all sorts of cases will be done with a robot,” he said. Still, technology will never replace the loving care that a human gives, Diamond said.

Technology is being weaved into the paperwork of health care, too.

Franciscan Alliance hospitals and physicians network clinics feature EpicCare information technology, streamlining patient care and administrative services by shifting much of the paperwork to electronic form.

“Epic’s integrated suite of health care applications supports a large number of patient care functions,” Diamond said.

Courtesy of the Times.

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