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HCMC chose SmartPath to dStream rather than a new scanner

Best Practice
Truwit, Chip, MD, FACR Hennepin County Medical Center • USA

Because HCMC was happy with the performance of its two Ingenia systems, they considered replacing their third scanner, an Achieva 1.5T, with another Ingenia system. However, this was not a viable option due to the associated siting cost. The SmartPath to dStream solution allowed them to get a dStream system in a cost-effective manner, with minimal downtime because the magnet can stay. Now, HCMC has three systems with dStream, all providing terrific scans.
 
 Chip Truwit, MD, FACR Hennepin County Medical Center
Chip Truwit, MD, FACR
Hennepin County Medical Center

 

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) is among the premiere Level 1 trauma centers in the nation. In the past 12 years, a complete overhaul of its installed equipment has resulted in HCMC having one of the best-outfitted radiology departments in the US Upper Midwest. HCMC is a safety net hospital whose patient population includes a broad array of orthopedic and brain injury patients.

SmartPath to dStream an easy choice

Chip Truwit, MD, FACR, is neuroradiologist and Chief of Radiology at Hennepin County Medical Center. “Already privileged to host both Ingenia 1.5T and 3.0T, we decided to bring SmartPath to dStream to our last scanner, an Achieva 1.5T,” he says. “The short version of that story: it’s spectacular!”

 

“After HCMC had installed two Ingenia systems, we were very happy with the image quality; the scans were – and are – exceptional. That was the upside. However, we felt somewhat restrained in scanning patients on the non-dStream Achieva. While we hoped to replace it with another Ingenia system, the siting costs proved to be cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, the SmartPath to dStream solution allowed us to get to dStream in a cost-effective manner, with minimal downtime and avoiding siting issues. There really was no other suitable solution for us at that time.”

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Consistent quality on all three systems

“We had very high expectations for SmartPath to dStream to succeed,” Dr. Truwit adds. “And indeed the converted dStream system provides the high quality imaging we expected. The scans are remarkable.”

 

“Initially we replaced one of our Achieva 1.5T systems with an Ingenia 1.5T. Until that point, most of our orthopedic MRI was done on our Achieva 3.0T scanner. Almost immediately, our musculoskeletal radiologists shifted the orthopedic MR workload to the Ingenia 1.5T due to the quality of the images. Subsequently, we replaced the Achieva 3.0T with an Ingenia 3.0T. Some musculoskeletal work moved to that scanner, but the images were so good on the Ingenia 1.5T at our outpatient imaging center that we continued to scan many of our outpatients at 1.5T.”

 

“Before converting the final Achieva there was such a difference between our two Ingenia systems and the non-dStream Achieva, we felt that we were somewhat limited in which patients we could put on that scanner,” says Dr. Truwit. “With dStream now up and running on our third scanner, it really makes no difference where we scan; the images look terrific.”

 

“We have the luxury of three dStream scanners. The image quality is so good that most of our work can go on any of the three systems, unless the patient specifically requests one of the large bore Ingenia scanners. That just makes us much more versatile, much more flexible.”

dStream boosts clinical performance

Dr. Truwit is seeing improvements in all types of exams. “We have first optimized our neuro scans and they’re looking very good now. As we continue to optimize other scans, we continue to see improvements. Our 3D FLAIR images were already quite good on the Achieva scanners, but they are even better now. The DWI images are much improved, and we have seen improvements in our spin echo T1-weighted sequences as well, which is long overdue.”

 

“We’re working toward sets of sequences that not only generate tremendous image quality, but that also take advantage of the increased SNR provided by dStream. We can either improve the signal within the same scan time, or cut scan time while keeping signal the same, or both. I think in our neuro work we’ve already done both.”

Enhancing productivity with digital coils and ExamCards

“Our technologists appreciate the upgrade to dStream as well, and patient throughput has improved because of it,” says Dr. Truwit. “The digital coil connections and the coil built into the table dramatically changed our workflow. Of course, the techs were already used to it on the Ingenia scanners; they’re greatly relieved that our last scanner is now up to speed. And ExamCards help to make scanning fast, easy and consistent; our techs also see terrific improvements there. When other MR users visit here, it’s been interesting to see how much our MR technologists talk about this particular feature.”

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Value for money

“For my money – for Hennepin County’s citizens – SmartPath to dStream is a financial win,” concludes Dr. Truwit. “Yes, it costs money, but it’s less money than a new system. Philips dStream is a tried and true technology now. Upgrading to a dStream system without having to pull the bore out is a great achievement. This really puts Philips in a class of its own.”
 
Dr. Truwit is a neuroradiologist and Professor and Chief of Radiology at Hennepin County Medical Center. He is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and subsequently the School of Medicine. He is a regular lecturer at national and international conferences and holds several medical device patents.


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Best Practice
Achieva 1.5T, Achieva 1.5T dStream
Body, dStream, Musculoskeletal, Neuro, SmartPath to dStream
 

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