There’s a new tool in the Echocardiography Lab at GBHS Owen Sound hospital — one that’s not only made the lives of the sonographers easier, but is making a direct difference in patients’ lives.
Echocardiography produces images of the heart to diagnose and manage heart diseases. Last fall the Lab began using an injectable drug – referred to as a contrast agent – to enhance the image for more complicated tests. Prior to its use at GBHS, some patients had to travel to a larger hospital for imaging, which made it more challenging for patients and families.
“It impacts the patient’s care when we can get a better image. For example if there’s a blood clot, the patient may go on blood thinners. But if there is no clot, then the patient may be able to avoid medication. It really directs the physicians’ treatment plan,” said sonographer Lisa Snyder.
Sonographer Cathy Davidson added, “This has really helped our lives too. When you’re scanning, you are trying so hard to visualize the function of the heart because you know these people are depending on you to get the best images so they can get better.
We’re really grateful to have this new option for enhancing the image.” The Echocardiography Lab is also pleased to have recently been accredited, a new provincial requirement that involved dedication and teamwork from all staff in the Cardiology Department.
“We feel like we are offering the best quality of care, and we’re pretty well doing everything that a larger centre does.”