Life-saving CT scanner coming to Bucktail Medical Center

KEVIN RAUCH/THE EXPRESS RN Tiffany Fleisher demonstrates how a Sofia i-Stat analyzer can determine Flu A and B, Strep and Lyme Disease in the emergency room of the Bucktail Medical Center. The hand-held device has many more capabilities than an outdated predecessor that is the size of a small refrigerator.

By KEVIN RAUCH

For The Express

SOUTH RENOVO — For years, the Bucktail Medical Center’s annual progress report was highly influenced by the impending and then in the midst of a filing for bankruptcy. Administrator/Chief Executive Tim Reeves felt that was the only option to try and keep the doors open to the facility in South Renovo.

After years of that headline constantly tagging the BMC, the center will be marking its one year post bankruptcy anniversary on March 26.

In addition to simply staying open as being the first priority, the breathing room has eventually led to glances of the future, as the BMC is now updating equipment, truly capturing the essence of what Progress is all about.

The CT project has long been high on the wish list for the BMC.

An online definition of a CT scan explains the machine this way. “Computed tomography (CT) scans, also called computerized axial tomography (CAT) scans, are a medical imaging method that uses X-rays to generate detailed cross-sectional images of the body. These image ‘slices’ are used to detect broken bones, cancers, blood clots, signs of heart disease and internal bleeding and to guide biopsies.”

Of course many people have undergone CAT scans and are aware of the potential lifesaving issues.

The BMC hopes to have their CT up and running by the end of summer, having been working towards and receiving approval from the Department of Health for the installation and placement of their machine.

Reeves explained that treatment of a stroke victim will improve immediately once the machine is operational.

Stroke patients either suffer from a clot or from an aneurism style leak of blood with two vastly different treatments. Current procedures have the BMC and even local rescue personal having several protocols all with the ultimate goal of getting diagnosis and treatment within two hours.

Once operational, the CT machine at BMC will have a diagnosis within minutes.

Of course the diagnostic aspect of the scans will be paramount, but revenue will be a by-product.

Reeves said that a three month study showed 20-22 people from western Clinton County need the service a month. Seven of those monthly situations could have been treated and admitted right into the BMC.

The Center began and continues to add updated services of i-Stat analyzers, many even not requiring a lab technician to be on duty.

The Sofia is up and running and can identify strep, lyme and influenza A and B within 15 minutes. A similar apparatus will soon add numerous other testing results including a 14 panel drug test.

The hand-held devices not only provide light years of improvements of their predecessors, but the older models with less capabilities often resemble equipment the size of washing machines.

The BMC also hopes to soon finish up certification as a Rural Health Clinic a designation that would allow them a higher reimbursement for Medical Assistance and Medicaid patients, something that is a 9-12 month process.

Thanks in large part to two $20,000 Clinton County Community Foundation grants the center is currently installing a new fire alarm system which paid for 2/3 of the final cost.

Again, necessity piggybacked safety as the former system had become so outdated that parts to fix the old system are obsolete. The former system also didn’t provide exact locations of potential issues, the newer set up will be precise and instant.

Controller George Gerber will see his five years of work toward getting new handicapped and automatic doors come into fruition as a CBDG will allow that undertaking to place as soon as the weather becomes more compatible.

Doors throughout the BMC will be replaced including to their clinic across from the ER parking lot.

Bucktail Medical Center

1001 Pine St,

Renovo, Pa. 17764

Open 24 hours

570-923-1000

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