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HEALTH CENTER HAS NEW GEAR, LONGER LAB HOURS

Oct. 24, 2001 – Two recently arrived pieces of equipment at the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center — a chemistry analyzer and a high-frequency radiology table — are part of the facility's ongoing improvement program, administrator Erica McDonald said Wednesday.
The addition of a Vitros 250 chemistry analyzer means the staff now can perform more than 30 tests — whereas it previously could conduct seven. "The majority of tests ordered by the doctor are done on the chemistry analyzer," McDonald said.
Previously, she said, tests for heart patients had to be conducted at Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas. Now, they can be done at Myrah Keating Smith.
"In an emergency, the doctors can rely on getting critical results which they need to make a decision right away, instead of one to seven days later," medical technologist Jacqueline Rennie said in a news release.
The new machine also has speeded up the time typically needed to perform such tests, from about half an hour to less than 10 minutes.
To serve the community better, the health center has expanded its laboratory hours, which now are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Previously, McDonald said, the laboratory was open about half the day.
A new high-frequency Del Medical radiology table is the other new addition. "This brings technology up to date. The old one was 15 years old," McDonald said.
The new machine works faster and uses less radiation, and the table can be moved into various positions to make it more comfortable for patients.
Each of the two pieces of equipment cost $55,000, paid for with federal grant money, McDonald said. The chemistry analyzer arrived two months ago and the radiology table, a month ago. McDonald said staff received training in their use before they went into service.

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Oct. 24, 2001 - Two recently arrived pieces of equipment at the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center -- a chemistry analyzer and a high-frequency radiology table -- are part of the facility's ongoing improvement program, administrator Erica McDonald said Wednesday.
The addition of a Vitros 250 chemistry analyzer means the staff now can perform more than 30 tests -- whereas it previously could conduct seven. "The majority of tests ordered by the doctor are done on the chemistry analyzer," McDonald said.
Previously, she said, tests for heart patients had to be conducted at Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas. Now, they can be done at Myrah Keating Smith.
"In an emergency, the doctors can rely on getting critical results which they need to make a decision right away, instead of one to seven days later," medical technologist Jacqueline Rennie said in a news release.
The new machine also has speeded up the time typically needed to perform such tests, from about half an hour to less than 10 minutes.
To serve the community better, the health center has expanded its laboratory hours, which now are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Previously, McDonald said, the laboratory was open about half the day.
A new high-frequency Del Medical radiology table is the other new addition. "This brings technology up to date. The old one was 15 years old," McDonald said.
The new machine works faster and uses less radiation, and the table can be moved into various positions to make it more comfortable for patients.
Each of the two pieces of equipment cost $55,000, paid for with federal grant money, McDonald said. The chemistry analyzer arrived two months ago and the radiology table, a month ago. McDonald said staff received training in their use before they went into service.