One of the most exciting appointments for a new parent is the visit in which you can hear the heartbeat, or even better, discover the sex of your child on an ultrasound. Dr. John Eiland, OB/GYN at Hoquiam Clinic, knows his patients well and knew that providing an environment, specifically for pregnant mothers, would be a major asset to the Diagnostic Imaging department at Grays Harbor Community Hospital (GHCH). As a result, GHCH has recently installed a new machine at their Grays Harbor Imaging (GHI) building.
“There are three things any pregnant mother cares about: prenatal care, a quality ultrasound and the labor delivery process,” says Eiland. “We wanted a nice warm environment with equipment that would allow them to visualize their baby completely.” Previously, ultrasounds were conducted solely at the main hospital amid the normal activities of a busy imaging department and were unable to give the 3D imaging that so many parents appreciate when looking at their new family member.
By utilizing the GHI building patients are feeling the benefits the moment they get out of the car. “It’s easy to pull up in front of the building and it’s just a few steps to registration,” says GHI Supervisor Wilna Wheeler. “One of the big advantages to housing the machine here is the availability of parking and access to the main door.”
The new machine comes with a 43-inch HDTV screen where patients can get a clear, color image of their babies. “Ultrasound is black and white, but my computer can detect blood flow, which shows up in red and blue,” says Teresa Houston, Diagnostic Imaging Technician. The screen has 3D capability, which further enhances the viewing experience. “It’s not a flat image,” says Houston. “It is a truly enhanced version from older model equipment and people are loving the images they receive.”
Shortly after joining the hospital staff in May, Eiland suggested obtaining a machine that could be housed in an outpatient setting. “I consulted with Dr. Stengel, the head of radiology and he responded instantly. It’s really great to have the leadership team on board.” Eiland went on to say, “With the new machine, we have more appointment times readily available and they can be scheduled though the patient’s doctor’s office. Before coming to the Harbor, Dr. Joseph Stengel, chair of radiology at GHCH, completed a year long fellowship in imaging and ultrasound at UCSF the nation’s premier center for prenatal imaging. He remains on the faculty at UCSF even today.
Once inside the ultrasound room, the atmosphere is practically spa-like with new floors and a table designed specifically for ultrasound patients. Even the beds are different, with remote controls. The maneuverability of the equipment is better for the technicians and provides a more mom-friendly environment all around.
Eiland dropped by GHI recently and came away impressed. “The space is wonderful,” he says. “The warm and friendly staff make it as comfortable as possible.” For their part, the staff are enjoying the new process. “I was giddy last week,” says Houston. “I’m so excited about the new technology we have here. I am thrilled to take care of our moms and babies.”
Patients are also responding well. “They just love it,” says Wheeler. “We’re getting great feedback about the experience of coming to the Imaging Center as well as seeing the baby on screen. We’re hoping the good word spreads.”
For more information, visit the Grays Harbor Community Hospital website, or call 360-532-8330.