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Patient Safety Drives Bartlett Regional Hospital's Decision to Purchase Two New CT Scanners

Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, Alaska, announced that it will purchase two Siemens Computerized Tomography (CT) Scanners to replace its current machine in the hospital’s Diagnostic Imaging Unit.  Bartlett will purchase both a 128 slice CT scanner as its primary CT scanner, and a 16 slice CT scanner (similar in capacity to BRH’s present CT scanner) to serve as a backup machine and allow for service expansion.  Hospital officials and Bartlett’s Board of Directors indicate patient safety was the driving factor in the decision to provide dramatically enhanced capability as well as redundancy.

“Twelve months of research, site visits, and evaluation resulted in a decision very different from the original plan,” said Bartlett’s Chief Executive Officer, Shawn Morrow.  “The hospital intended to spend about $12 million for a 64 Slice Scanner.  However following extensive and detailed research by Frank Sis, Jeremy Ludeman, Ernest Wick, Radiologists, and a great deal of additional Medical Staff input, it was concluded to purchase two scanners at a total cost of $2.69 million.


Patient Safety influenced the decision to extend beyond the original budget and equipment specifications.  Most of the Medical Staff and Bartlett Radiologic Technologists concurred that given Juneau’s isolation, having two CT scanners on site was a patient safety priority.  Shorter scan times and lower radiation dose were also important considerations.

“There were many other factors involved in the decision to increase the budget, but they were all secondary to patient safety,” said Morrow.

The Hospital plans to install the 16 Slice Scanner first.  Once it is up and running BRH will install the 128 Slice scanner in the space where the present CT scanner is located.  The decision to take this approach was made to avoid the additional expense of bringing in a mobile unit during installation.  Plans are to have both units installed and operational within the next six to ten months.

Bartlett Regional Hospital provides quality health care and health promotion for the people of Juneau and communities of Northern Southeast Alaska.

In 2009, Bartlett Regional Hospital was the recipient of a Federal Congressional appropriation for a new CT scanner.  These Federal funds will cover 28% of the cost of the $1,330,000 purchase of the new 128 slice Siemens CT scannerThe remainder of the cost will be paid as budgeted BRH capital expenditures.  The Federal funds are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

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