Health Briefs, May 6, 2014

New imager is state of the art

Family Health West is one of the first hospitals in western Colorado to offer three-dimensional mammography to its patients, the hospital announced last week.

Known as tomosynthesis mammography, the tool incorporates state-of-the-art imaging technology that provides incredibly sharp breast tissue images, the hospital said.

“This not only improves the ability to detect breast cancer, but also decreases the need for additional examinations so often needed in mammography,” Family Health West CEO Mark J. Francis said in a news release. 

The images appear on the technologist’s and radiologist’s monitor within seconds, Francis said. This results in a more rapid examination and ultimately a more efficient experience for the patient. 

“Statistics show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime,” Family Health West Director of Radiology Michelle Angelo said in a news release. “If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent.”

Rocky Mountain orthopods help out


Several local events are getting a helping hand from Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates to ensure participants get the help they need in the event of an injury.

The practice provided resources for the Girls on the Run event and the Rose Hill Rally, and will do so for the The Gauntlet obstacle course event this coming Saturday.

“Helping out at these events by providing refreshments or first aid tents means that the participants get immediate medical care for injuries and some much needed nourishment following the event,” outreach coordinator Mike Zamora said in a news release. “It’s important to us to take care of all of our athletes here in the Valley, and this is just one way we’re reaching out to do that.”

The practice was a presenting sponsor for the Girls on the Run event on Saturday. This is the 10th year that the practice has helped out. It provided post-race refreshments and snacks for all participants.

For the second year in a row, the practice also helped out at the Rose Hill Rally on May 4, an event which benefits St. Mary’s Hospitality House. The practice operated a first-aid tent at Reed Park in Fruita.

Also for the second year, Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates will be providing a first-aid tent for everyone who takes on the challenge of the Gauntlet obstacle course at Grand Junction Motor Speedway, which benefits Special Olympics, Zamora said.

St. Mary’s gets an ‘A’ for safety


Designed to rate how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections, the latest Hospital Safety Score honored St. Mary’s Hospital with an “A” – its top grade in patient safety.

The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog.

The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

“No hospital is perfect, but we congratulate the board, clinicians, administration, and staff of St. Mary’s Hospital for achieving an ‘A’ and showing us that they make the well-being of their patients top priority,” The Leapfrog Group President Leah Binder said in a news release.

Calculated under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm, Binder said.

More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in spring 2014, with about 32 percent receiving an “A” grade. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, and its website offers a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades, she said.

“Our patients deserve to feel safe while they are in our care. It’s fundamental to our mission and values,” St. Mary’s chief medical information officer Dr. George Scott said in a news release. “We work every day to deliver care that keeps our patients from harm, and we constantly ask how tomorrow can be even better.”


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