Friday, January 21, 2022
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CRMC To Consider PET-CT Scanner Replacement

Cookeville Regional Medical Center is looking to replace its PET-CT Scanner.

Hospital CFO Tommye Rena Wells said that the scan is one used to detect cancer and find its stage in cancer treatment. Dr. Ernest Buchanan said that such a machine is an integral part of a cancer program.

“You really can’t have a cancer program without a PET-CT scan,” Buchanan said. “And it’s almost impossible to get a PET-CT done elsewhere and not lose the patient to their cancer care. And nobody else in town does it, so this is one of those things I feel like if we didn’t have the money for it we’d need to go to the bank and get it.

Wells said that the almost $2.6 million purchase would replace the hospital’s original scanner which is some 16-years-old. She said that the purchase had originally been budgeted as a project for Fiscal Year ’23, but the scanner reached its end-of-life sooner than expected.

Wells said that they did explore the option of a mobile unit instead of bringing forth the purchase now. She said that while it would be possible, it would be about $40,000 a month. Dr. Buchanan said that a mobile unit is less desirable because of patient concerns for their safety.

CEO Paul Korth said that it would be taking a step down from services they offer at the hospital. He said that this is one of the items that he highlights when recruiting new staff members.

“I talk to them about the equipment we have and the advancement we have and when I tell them we’ve had a PET scanner here for close to 20 years it’s very impressive to them because a lot of hospitals our size don’t have PET scans,” Korth said. “They’ll have a mobile unit come in once a week like the old MRI unit. It’s really impressive for physicians that come into the community that close to 20 years now we’ve offered a service that a lot of other hospitals don’t offer. It puts us above a lot of other hospitals.”

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