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Riverland gets OK for equipment

FERRIDAY — Riverland Medical Center has received needed accreditation to use mammography equipment purchased in November.

The American College of Radiology certified Riverland for the Selenia Digital Mammography unit that is used to screen people for breast cancer.

Riverland Administrator Lana Stamper said she was proud of the hospital’s radiology department for all their hard work in getting the accreditation.

“The ACR awards accreditation to facilities for accomplishing achievement of high practice standards. This process involves a peer-review evaluation of the facility’s practice which includes image quality and procedure evaluations conducted by board-certified radiologists and medical physicists who are experts in this field,” she said. “It also evaluates personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment and quality control procedures.”

Stamper also said the accreditation process in which Riverland had to go through for the unit shows a lot about the hospital.

“What this means to a patient when choosing Riverland is that we have voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to be sure we meet nationally-accepted standards,” she said “Our personnel are well qualified, our equipment is appropriate for the mammogram tests, and that we meet the quality assurance and safety guidelines.”

Riverland director of diagnostic services Jean Comeaux said the new machine has been a huge help so far to the hospital.

“The unit has computer aided detection technology in it that reads the patients scan and points out problem areas doctors need to look more closely at,” she said. “It can spot tumors, masses, cysts and micro-calcifications.”

Comeaux said spotting micro-calcifications is crucial because while they may not be cancerous, with time they can be.

“Spotting them early is a good way to help prevent that,” she said.

Comeaux also said with the new machine, patients will be able to get their results faster.

“We used to have a hard copy machine that required patients to take a video of their scan with them to show their doctor,” she said. “Now you can pull everything up on the computer and be just a few clicks away from seeing the scan at any time.”

Patient comfort will has also improved with the addition of the new unit, Comeaux said.

“We have a new type of paddle that we use to do the checks called a fast paddle,” she said. “Patients have said it is not as uncomfortable as other units they have used.”

Comeaux also said patients will be subjected to less radiation and be able to get in and out of the procedure quicker.

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