TUCUMCARI, NM – Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital installed a digital mammography unit in the Radiology Department earlier this month.
This state-of-the-art machine will provide quicker exams with amplified resolution and contrast that will assist with early detection of breast cancer.
Trigg Hospital provides approximately 750 mammogram exams per year. Trigg Hospital’s Radiology Department has eight employees including two dedicated mammography technicians.
Trigg Hospital Administrator Lance Labine said this investment is critical in meeting the needs of Tucumcari and Quay County residents.
“The purchase, installation and use of this digital mammography unit is a testament of the commitment Quay County and Presbyterian Healthcare Services have made to improve the healthcare for local and area residents,” said Labine. “I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the benefits of the area’s support than this. This situation illustrates perfectly how healthcare tax monies works for those served. This unit offers state-of-the-art technology and convenience at our local hospital,” Labine added.
The unit was purchased by Quay County and Presbyterian Healthcare Services as well as a generous contribution from an anonymous donor.
Digital mammography provides faster image acquisition and enhanced clarity and image resolution, compared to analog film pictures. In addition to that, the average radiation dose during the preventative exam, while considered low, will be reduced by approximately 20-percent with the new digital mammography unit compared to its predecessor.
“This is a significant benefit for the hospital with regards to patient care for residents of Tucumcari and Quay County,” said Gwynne Draper, Trigg Hospital Radiology Department Manager. “This technology and convenience is now offered locally, and this enhancement represents our commitment and service to the community. Residents will no longer have to travel out of town for this type of quality care.”
Draper said this technology would provide a quicker exam, between one-third and one-half faster, because of the near instant image that’s acquired from each scan.
Digital mammography technology has been around for approximately the past decade but has come to the forefront the last three years.
“This system uses what’s called Computer Aided Detection, or CAD software. Each image will be run though the CAD software in addition to Radiologists interpreting them as a means of potentially identifying any irregularities as soon as possible,” said Draper.
Radiological interpretation services, including digital mammograms, are provided by High Plains Radiology, which is contracted with Trigg Hospital.
“It’s amazing how much faster this machine is and the clarity is outstanding,” said Draper.
Draper added that the digital mammography unit will save on the storage space compared to film images and will provide access to physicians and providers regardless of location.
Draper said digital images can be copied to disks should physicians, providers or patients request it.
“Digital mammography is faster with superior resolution and provides Radiologists with more flexibility while viewing the image once it’s created,” said Draper.
Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital is a Quay County-owned facility leased and managed by Presbyterian Healthcare Services. Presbyterian exists to improve the health of patients, members and communities served. Presbyterian Healthcare Services was founded in New Mexico in 1908, and is the state’s only private, not-for-profit healthcare system. Presbyterian offers eight hospitals, a statewide health plan, and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Presbyterian employs more than 9,000 people throughout New Mexico.