Payson Regional Medical Center continues to expand and improve its services. Its new imaging center at 127 East Main Street is nearing completion.
"We hope to have it open by the end of February," said Kristen Kivett, director of radiology for PRMC.
The imaging center is designed to provide a new level of comfort for patients needing radiology services.
Special care has been taken in designing the facility for mammography.
"We want to give women comfort, privacy and pampering when they come in for their mammograms," Kivett said.
"If this new facility brings in one woman who has not yet had a mammogram done -- because she was embarrassed or afraid -- and she has a good experience and tells others, then we have done what we set out to do," she said.
The facility has breathing room too. Not only is the mammography room substantially larger than the current space at PRMC, there are changing rooms, which will include lockers for patients to store their belongings during the exam, plus a separate waiting area set aside for women.
"They will change into the nice gowns we're ordering, then wait in a curtained-off area," Kivett said.
The pre-exam waiting area is totally separate from the public area of the new facility.
There are three mammography technicians on staff, so one is available every day.
"They are really wonderful," Kivett said. "They have dedicated themselves to mammography and do excellent work."
The PRMC Imaging Center has a room for ultrasound, Dexascan and general X-ray services as well, plus extra space to grow into as needed.
"The Dexascan will be a complete screening for bone density and we can bill the patient's insurance," said Cory Houghton, media relations officer for PRMC. "Patients have had to use mobile resources up until now, and have had to pay out of pocket," she said.
Kivett explained the Dexascan requires a patient to lie on a table as an image is taken of his spine and hips.
"It takes only five minutes," she said.
The facility has equipment to make general X-ray services easier on patients as well. "Our table will lower all the way to the floor, so no one has to climb on a step stool to get onto it," Kivett said. There is also a standing X-ray machine that can be used to do films on knees and the like.
Radiology services will still be available at the hospital once the new facility opens.
"We won't be taking people out of the emergency room to come over here for their X-rays and ultrasounds," Kivett said.
With the added equipment, the wait times will be reduced too.
Because of insurance, a lot of women try to schedule their mammograms at the end of the year. With only the existing equipment at the hospital currently available, right now mammograms are being scheduled six weeks in advance and ultrasounds must be booked a week-and-a-half ahead.
"With the opening of the imaging center, we should be able to cut those times in half," Houghton said.
For more information about the imaging center, call PRMC at (928) 474-3222.