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CRMC Gains Accreditation In Advanced Cardiac Imaging

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
CRMC Gains Accreditation In Advanced Cardiac Imaging

Cookeville Regional Medical Center has received a CT and MRI American College of Radiology accreditation for advanced cardiac imaging.

New CT and MRI scanners installed last year led to the distinction. Image Cardiologist Dr. Ashley Nickerson said the additions have increased patient care for the region with the next accredited imaging center located in Nashville.

“We can streamline their care by keeping everything local,” Nickerson said. “It is not uncommon that for a CT in particular, the way that we do it, they end up having to go to the Cath lab or get an intervention within that week, and so, had that patient have to be sent to a university, wait for those results to come back. The turn around time is much longer.”

Nickerson said the department can identify things such as cardiac stress and coronary disease. Nickerson said the imaging department was first launched last year but took some time to get to speed. The hospital now conducts several exams daily.

“When we first launched cardiac MR it was taking a couple of hours to get one study and physically sitting there with the techs and going through every single image and helping them plan it,” Nickerson said. “And now we are at a point the tech is really quite independent.”

MRI Cardiac Tech Tess Taylor said accreditation is based on pulse sequences that create the images and overall quality.

“For the MRI accreditation, we have to go by a certain set of parameters that we have to meet to be able to turn in those sequences,” Taylor said. “And, they have to be good quality imagining. Once we turn it in, it can be rejected or accepted, and our sequence had passed just in December. We got ACR accredited, and it is the first time we have ever got that accreditation before.”

Last year, over 400 cardiac exams were conducted. CEO Paul Korth said achieving this has been a goal for the facility for many years. Korth said it all started with recruiting Dr. Nickerson.

“Now, we are at the point where we have been successful in doing all those things,” Korth said. “All the equipment is in, everything is running, staff’s been trained.”


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