Personalized Approach the Focus of Premier Health’s Diagnostic and Imaging Services

Premier Pulse     March 2018

Delivering outstanding care begins with the fundamental understanding that each patient’s needs are unique, and the best outcomes are often the result of a personally tailored treatment plan. This has long been the approach of the Premier Health diagnostics and imaging services teams, which partner with area clinicians to design and implement treatments that meet the specific needs of each patient.

“At Premier Health, we don’t have a ‘cookbook radiology’ approach,” said Michael Gelbart, MD, a radiologist at Atrium Medical Center and Upper Valley Medical Center. “Much of what I see out there is an approach that just does the same thing for everybody, especially when it comes to MRI and mammography. It's better to have a more patient-centered plan where each patient gets what they need, which may not be the same as the person next to them.”

The advent of digital mammography, for example, has equipped radiologists with advanced technology to aid in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Three-dimensional breast tomosynthesis imaging reveals multiple slices of each breast, which enables radiologists to detect smaller lesions at a much earlier stage than could ever be done through traditional two-dimensional mammography. In addition, Premier Health’s specialists utilize even newer tools to help take early detection to a new level.

Premier Health became the first in the state to use the Hologic Affirm stereotactic biopsy system which uses 3-D tomosynthesis to target small lesions. This technology allows technicians to visualize tissues more easily and pinpoint very small and subtle lesions or very faint calcifications that you may not be able to see on the older, two-dimensional systems.

Breast imaging is just one of several services the diagnostics and radiology teams offer. According to Shane Smith, MD, a radiologist at Miami Valley Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital (closed in 2018), most of Premier Health’s radiologists do the majority of their work in sub-specialized fields, such as neuroradiology, interventional radiology, or musculoskeletal radiology.

“We pride ourselves in offering cutting-edge variety and quality of studies across the spectrum,” said Dr. Smith. “For example, we offer prostate MRI, which can be fused with real time ultrasound to urologists in guided biopsies of suspicious lesions identified on the MRI.”

Premier Health’s interventional radiologists also utilize a robust Yttrium-90 (Y90) hepatic mass ablation program for the treatment of liver cancer, while neuroradiologists offer functional MRI services for operative planning for brain mass resection to protect a patient’s language and motor areas. A nuclear medicine study known as a DAT-scan is also now being provided to evaluate the brain for the detection of Parkinson’s disease.

As radiological technology has improved, it’s encouraging to note that the level of a patient’s exposure to radiation continues to decrease.

Radiation dosing has been decreasing on the whole as all exams now are dose modulated based upon a patient’s size and weight. This is helpful, for example, for low-dose CT scanning for lung cancer screening for patients at high risk for the disease, and also for calcium scoring for patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease.

Premier Health’s diagnostics and imaging services teams welcome the opportunity to partner with area physicians to deliver quality care for their patients, no matter what the need might be.

“We love to answer questions. Doctors should feel free to contact our offices directly if they have a question about a technique or treatment, or what exam they need to order,” said Dr. Gelbart. 

Back to the March 2018 issue of Premier Pulse

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