Snoqualmie Valley Hospital unveils CT Scanner, announces future upgrades

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the state-of-the-art Computed Tomography (CT) scanner was held at Snoqualmie Valley Health (SVH) on March 28. It preceded the arrival of a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine, which is expected toward the end of the year.

The event came two months after the hospital announced its latest investment in medical technology to further “its commitment to delivering exceptional healthcare services to the community,” according to a press release.

“The previous machines were installed in 2015. They don’t have a super long lifespan, so this is about the time to replace them,” said Nichole Pas, the director of public relations and marketing for SVH. “The total investment for the two projects was $2.9 million for the construction and the cost of the equipment.”

CT scanner

The hospital’s previous CT scanner — used to create cross-sectional X-ray images of the bones, muscles, fat organs and blood vessels inside patients, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) — took 35 minutes to scan patients, while the new top-of-the-line Siemens SOMATOM go.Top CT scanner takes 5 to 10 minutes.

CT scans may be performed to help diagnose tumors, investigate internal bleeding or check for other internal injuries or damage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“It will significantly improve the turnaround time for [patients] to start treatments,” Pas said. “The sooner you can get treatment started, the better recovery those patients will have.”

MRI machine

During the March 28 ribbon cutting, SVH also announced the upcoming arrival of a Siemens Free Max MRI machine, which will be operational by the end of 2024.

The MRI machine uses a magnetic field to produce clearer, more detailed images of a patient’s organs, soft tissues and skeletal system, according to the Mayo Clinic.

With an 80-centimeter bore — 20 centimeters wider than the current machine — the new machine promises to accommodate a wider range of body types and increase comfort for all patients.

“The next closest one of the same machine is in Idaho,” Pas said. “We are now one of the very few [hospitals] with this large of a bore.”

Patient surveys

Starting April 2, SVH patients will receive a text message with a link to complete a 20-second patient satisfaction survey 24 hours after their visit.

“The new system is great because it’s very easy to take a deep dive into specific issues so we can do trending reports and look closer at individual departments and locations,” Pas said.

While patient feedback has been gathered through surveys in the past, SVH providers hope the text messages will increase input and engagement by reaching more patients.

“These new surveys will allow us to better understand the needs and preferences of our patients, helping us make informed decisions and enhancements to our healthcare delivery,” said Ron Bennett, the director of ancillary services at Snoqualmie Valley Health. “We’re dedicated to continuously improving our services and providing the best possible care for our patients.”

Patients will also be able to name caregivers who they believe went above and beyond in caring for them during their visit.