Radiology department renovations, upgrades begin at hospital.

July 6, 2021

Promotional photo of new MRI machine.

Radiology department renovations, upgrades begin at hospital.

LUDINGTON — After years of planning and anticipation, work has begun on the $2.6 million radiology department renovation and equipment upgrade project at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital.

New state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) machines headline the project, replacing units that have completed their lifecycle.

Danielle Tiefenthal, manager of radiology services at Ludington Hospital, said the department improvements are extensive.

“This project not only brings enhanced imaging through the latest MRI and CT technology, it will also provide a more favorable experience for our patients and team members in terms of comfort and safety,” Tiefenthal said. “We ask for everyone’s patience in the next few months while we work around the construction being done.”

Tiefenthal said the department upgrade is a game changer for patients.

“A project like this is an incredible improvement for our community, allowing us to provide new services and greater comfort, while decreasing the need for our patients to travel for imaging exams,” she said. “We’re able to continue delivering high quality care locally through projects like these.”

The new CT unit, a Sieman’s Definition Edge, is a 128-slice scanner, replacing a 64-slice machine. It will be available for use beginning in early August.

The scanner is larger and offers additional scanning capabilities that will result in better brain and heart scans, such as calcium scoring, which allows review of plaque buildup in the coronary arteries and brain perfusion studies which show detailed blood flow to the brain tissue in stroke cases. The unit also reduces imaging noise and patient radiation for greater comfort and safety.

The CT upgrade will be followed closely by the arrival of a new MRI machine in November.

The MRI unit is a Siemens MAGNETOM Sola, a 1.5T MRI system that features BioMatrix Technology that automatically adjusts to each patient. It replaces a machine that is 14 years old and will offer improved image quality and more space and comfort to accommodate patients who may have felt claustrophobic in the smaller machine.

Additionally, the MRI project includes a complete refresh of the MRI suite with new flooring, ceilings, lights, new cabinets, fixtures and furniture as well as a new patient changing room, procedure room and restroom.

With the new MRI unit, Ludington Hospital is able to provide additional services such as small intestine and breast imaging, while offering improved imaging of the female pelvis and musculoskeletal system.

During the MRI upgrade portion of the project, MRI services will be offered in a mobile unit at the north end of the hospital near the surgery department. This will allow for the facility renovations and the build-out of the permanent MRI space in the medical imaging department. The MRI construction should be completed in late fall, so mobile MRI services will only be necessary from August through approximately November, 2021.

“We’re so excited to bring this technology and improved space to the greater Ludington community,” said Jeremy Vronko, chief operating officer, Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “Radiology services are an important part of providing care, and we are proud to make this investment for our community.”

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