IN THE NEWS
Radiology Groups Come Together to Expand Imaging Services in the Inland Northwest

(Spokane and Tri-Cities, WA) March 27, 2018: Two of the most highly regarded radiology groups in the northwest are joining forces. Inland Imaging, PS, based in Spokane, and Columbia Basin Imaging (CBI), based in the Tri-Cities, are combining their professional radiology groups, effective September 2018. The new group brings together nearly 90 radiologists, making it one of the largest professional radiology practices in the Western United States.

“Combining our two groups allows us to better connect our region’s medical imaging technology, expertise, and resources so that we can continue to improve the way we serve patients and their referring physicians,” said Dr. Jayson Brower, President of Inland Imaging, PS. “This partnership allows us to promote best practices and standardization while assuring that studies are reviewed by the subspecialized radiologists best equipped to read them. The ultimate winner is the patient.”

CBI is a Tri-Cities based group of physicians who have provided radiology services at Kadlec Regional Medical Center for more than 30 years. “This partnership not only helps us better support radiology and imaging services throughout the region, it will also help promote the integration of services on the Kadlec campus by combining both interventional and diagnostic radiology services within the new group,” said Dr. Richard Nguyen, president of CBI.

“By expanding our geographic footprint to more closely match that of our important health system partner, we are able to generate more effective ways to deliver services,” said Inland Imaging CEO Steve Duvoisin. “It allows us to see the region’s healthcare resources in a more global and holistic way. That broader point of view helps us imagine new ways to raise our quality and efficiency while holding down costs by serving more patients around the region.”

Inland Imaging, PS has been operating in Spokane since 1930. The organization’s board-certified radiologists serve outpatient imaging centers, urban and rural medical centers, hospitals, clinics and private practices in Western, Central and Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana. In addition, the organization’s radiologists own Inland Imaging Business Associates, a company that provides various radiology business and IT services to clients throughout the Northwest.

Columbia Basin Imaging is a private practice consisting of board-certified radiologists. This group of subspecialized and general radiologists provides professional interpretations for patients of Kadlec Regional Medical Center, free-standing E.D., urgent care clinics, and physician offices. This commitment to service and subspecialization ensures that patients are always receiving the most cutting-edge medical imaging studies available today.

WE’RE EXPANDING BREAST IMAGING CAPABILITIES TO BETTER SERVE WOMEN ON SPOKANE’S NORTH SIDE

March 8, 2018 - Inland’s recently added a fourth 3D Mammography unit at our Holy Family Imaging Center in North Spokane. The additional unit, according to Marian Wilkonski, Inland Breast Imaging Manager, “means we will be able to continue to serve the needs of a growing population in the most convenient, timely and accurate way possible.” The additional capacity will mean easier and more convenient scheduling for both screening and diagnostic mammogram patients on the North side.
“We’re excited to be able to offer women greater access to this technology which is now considered the ‘gold standard’ in early breast cancer detection,” said Wilkonski.

A significant research study reported in the JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION found that 3D mammography, reveals significantly more invasive cancers than a traditional, 2D mammogram. Invasive cancers are more likely to spread or cause death. 3D mammography also reduces the number of women called back for additional imaging, which reduces patient anxiety and helps lower health care costs.

Affirm Breast Biopsy System with Brevera Imaging Technology

In addition to increasing mammography capacity, Inland Imaging has also acquired the Affirm Breast Biopsy system with Brevera imaging technology. This system allows us to quickly perform breast biopsies using the same imaging equipment we use for regular mammography exams.

The Brevera system delivers essential information quickly and accurately – allowing physicians to make informed clinical decisions with confidence while saving valuable time. In addition, faster procedures can result in a more positive biopsy experience for patients as well.
“We’ve seen a growing number of patients and breast surgeons seeking access to services in North Spokane,” said Kathleen Wilson, Inland Imaging’s Chief Operations Officer. “We will continue to respond by increasing both our capacity to deliver care and access to the technology and tools we need to serve their needs.”

INLAND’S DR. HINES TAKES ON NEW ROLE

March 1, 2018 - Inland Imaging is proud to announce that Dr. Robin Hines, has been elected president of the executive committee governing the combined medical staffs at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Providence Holy Family Hospital.
Dr. Hines has been an active participant in medical leadership at both hospitals since 2013, and was instrumental in unifying the two medical staffs to streamline the administrative functions of the medical staff, but — more importantly — to improve safety and quality of care for the many patients treated at both facilities.
“My role in this more integrated model,” said Hines, “is to have a foot in both hospitals, to understand how both hospitals work and support the people working in them to the best of my ability.”

“Our goal is to help constantly improve standard of care, to adopt best practices, streamline policies and procedures, and take advantage of economies of scale. We here to learn from each other, respect one another, and to know what everybody’s bringing to the table in order to put patients where they’re best served. A unified medical staff structure supports timely dialogue and improvements in care across both our hospitals,” said Hines.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be the first president of this unified medical staff,” said Hines. “It’s a wonderful
opportunity to help create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”
Dr. Hines specializes in Emergency Radiology and has been with Inland Imaging since 1998.

INLAND IMAGING PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN LOCAL RESEARCH TO UNDERSTAND AND DEVELOP TREATMENTS FOR ALZHEIMERS AND DEMENTIA.

February 15, 2018 - Research plays an important role in expanding our understanding of illness and disease and is key to developing effective prevention and treatment strategies. Medical imaging is often an essential element in the gathering and analysis of data as it can record and track changes in the body over the course of a research study. At Inland Imaging, each of our imaging modalities (CT, MRI, X-Ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, etc.) is currently or has recently been involved in a research project. In fact, there is an average of more than thirty medical research studies going on at any one time in our community.

Recently there’s been an increased need for this type of medical imaging in the region due to a local group of Primary Investigators and their participation in Alzheimer’s and dementia research. For these studies, Inland Imaging is using PetCT to image the buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain, which is thought to be a precursor to dementia. When we can verify how much plaque there is to begin with we can then evaluate the effectiveness of the drugs that can stop the buildup or breakdown of amyloid continued on plaque. This will help determine how to slow down, stop or possibly even reverse the effects of dementia.

Recently, Inland Imaging’s Brook Root became the company’s primary Clinical Research Assistant. According to Root, “my job is to facilitate the imaging needs for each of the various research studies. Each study has a very specific list of requirements that must be met. I serve as the liaison between outside research coordinators and various staff members at Inland Imaging throughout each study, to insure that all of the requirements are met and that the information we provide is correct and accurate.”
“Inland Imaging,” said Root, “is dedicated to providing the research community the quality imaging they require. We have a dedicated staff that is passionate about research.”

Inland Imaging aids in prevention of heart attacks

[Spokane, WA] February 1, 2018— More Americans die of heart disease than all types of cancer combined. 58 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease, making coronary artery disease the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Yet, preventative exams that can assess and identify risk for cardiovascular disease are often overlooked.

In honor of American Heart Month, Inland Imaging is offering a special promotion for a screening exam that aids in the early detection of heart disease: a CT coronary calcium scoring exam for $100—a savings of nearly $200—during the entire month of February at the Holy Family Imaging Center.

A CT coronary calcium scoring exam is a 15-minute screening study, which measures the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. It is a quick, non-invasive exam that assesses an individual’s risk for heart attack in the near term.

“Heart disease claims the lives of far too many people in this country. With more than 2 million heart attacks and strokes a year, just about all of us has been touched by someone with heart disease,” said Angela Steinbach CT manager at Inland Imaging. “We want to bring attention to this issue locally and make sure patients know there is a way to assess risk and identify any indications of heart disease early rather than late.”

Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), a disease of the vessel wall. People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks. Because calcium is a marker of CAD, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. Your doctor can use the calcium score results to evaluate the risk for future coronary artery disease.

“We are really looking to encourage prevention not just detection of disease,” said Kathleen Wilson Inland Imaging chief operations officer. “We want to help our community in their overall wellness plan.”

To schedule the CT coronary calcium scoring exam, patients must have an order from a referring physician and schedule the exam in advance by calling 509-455-4455. The patient must not have any current symptoms of heart disease and must have one significant risk factor including: male 40-70 years or female 45-75 years, family history of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, history of smoking, sedentary lifestyle, and high stress levels.

Inside View - Fall 2017

In This Issue

  • SPECT/CT: innovative hybrid technology integrates images
  • Missoula Radiology is now Inland Imaging
  • Inland welcomes four radiologists
  • Northpointe Update: second 3T scanner installed
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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Inland Imaging’s New SPECT/CT’s innovative hybrid technology seamlessly integrates the functional images of advanced SPECT with the precise anatomical detail of multi-slice high-resolution CT

August 15, 2017

What is a SPECT/CT scan?
SPECT/CT combines two different types of scans and merges the images from each to create a single, layered image. Combining the information from a nuclear medicine SPECT study and a CT study can provide more precise information about how different parts of the body function and more clearly and accurately locate and identify disease and other physical irregularities.

SPECT imaging, or single-photon emission computerized tomography, creates a 3D color image that animates the function of almost any organ in the body. This picture can fully depict the way blood moves through the heart, what parts of a brain are active or inactive after a stroke, how quickly a bone is healing — or for cancer patients, whether or not disease has spread to the bones.

Computed tomography (CT) images are obtained as an X-ray camera rotates over a 360 degree arc around the patient, allowing for image reconstruction in three dimensions. Although the vast majority of SPECT/CT’s are done with very low dose CT, we also have the capability to do diagnostic CT with or without iodine contrast when indicated.

The Patient Experience
When a patient undergoes a SPECT scan, they are injected with a small amount of radioactive tracer material. The radiation emitted by the material is detected by the imaging camera, which produces pictures of the body part being imaged. The patient lies still and flat while the image is captured.

The X-ray machine from the CT scanner rotates much faster than the gamma camera, so the CT part of the study takes less time than the SPECT study. The imaging process is painless.
Following the SPECT/CT scan, the radioactive material exits the body through urine and stool. Drinking plenty of water after the exam helps speed the elimination process.
“In many disease processes, physiological changes occur before anatomical changes are discernible on imaging. Also, in other cases, pathology is not necessarily accompanied by anatomical changes. In these circumstances, SPECT/CT imaging is invaluable. It combines information from both modalities to create a more detailed and information rich image, thus allowing for early diagnosis of certain diseases, as well as detection of disease processes that may otherwise go unnoticed.”
SPECT/CT provides imaging with greater specificity of anatomical location for:

• Parathyroid disease
• Bone scans (biggest areas of improvement with SPECT/CT are for scans of the spine, feet, ankles, hands and wrists.)
• Lung (quantification prior to lobectomy or to better identify pulmonary embolisms.)
• Studies of neuroendocrine tumors (Octreoscans, MIBG)
• Prostascint® scans for prostate cancers

For more information contact Dave Durgan at Inland Imaging.
Call 509-435-2644 or email ddurgan@inlandimaging.com

Inside View - Spring 2017

In This Issue

  • Inland’s 3T MRI Significantly Improves Early Prostate Cancer Detection
  • Liver Elastography — Helping Patients Avoid an Invasive Liver Biopsy
  • Northpointe Update
  • Komen Eastern Washington Becomes EVERY WOMAN CAN
  • X-Ray Services are Available at the Spokane Teaching Health Clinic

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Inland’s 3T MRI Significantly Improves Early Prostate Cancer Detection

May 1, 2017

Hey gentlemen, good news! All of the prostate MRI scans conducted at Inland Imaging are done using the 3T MRI scanner —a powerful new tool in the early detection of prostate cancer.

The 3 Tesla (3T) MRI has the largest magnet available, creating a detailed high resolution image of your body. It is a non-invasive method designed to find small cancer cells in hard to reach places like your prostate. Using the 3T MRI nearly doubles the number of aggressive tumors that are caught.

Advances in medical scanning technology are much less invasive and more accurate for men who are referred by their urologist for prostate scans. The old way of doing this (a prostate biopsy) was uncomfortable to say the least. And since Inland’s 3T MRI is so good at pinpointing the exact location of cancerous cells, your urologist will have the information he or she needs without requiring multiple biopsies.

Dr. John Bell, a Radiologist at Inland Imaging, describes just how much a difference in MRI technology improves the whole process. “Every case we see now is improved. I can think of 20+ examples of patients who have had multiple biopsies looking for cancer cells but found none, yet still had elevated PSA. With the MRI, we were even able to find a small nodule of cancer.”

According to a recent study of 576 men in the UK, more than a quarter of those scanned could be spared invasive biopsies which can lead to severe complications. In addition, a non-invasive MRI scan means a more comfortable and less stressful experience for the patient. The MRI scan identified 93 percent of the aggressive cancers, whereas the biopsy only diagnosed 48 percent. In addition, nine out of ten men with negative results on the MRI scan had no cancer or a harmless cancer.

“Sometimes, even after having a prostate removed, there are cases when re-evaluating for recurrence shows positive, and the MRI can identify the exact cell location, which would most likely have required surgery without that technology,” says Dr. Bell.

Liver Elastography — Helping Patients Avoid an Invasive Liver Biopsy

April 30, 2017 Doctors continually strive to get the best possible information available while striking a balance between good, reliable data which is essential for accurate diagnoses, and patient comfort and safety.

Enter liver elastography.

For years, a liver biopsy was the most reliable way to assess the status of patients with chronic liver disease.

Dr. Scott King, a radiologist at Inland Imaging, explains the background, “When someone has chronic liver disease, most commonly Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and alcohol abuse, the chronic inflammation eventually results in liver scarring. When this scarring, or fibrosis, becomes severe, the risk of complications of chronic liver disease, including liver cancer, increases dramatically.”

Liver biopsy can determine the degree of liver fibrosis. There are potential medical complications with biopsy, however, not to mention other inconveniences. Patients may experience pain, must undergo sedation, require up to a day of recovery time, and need to arrange for transportation to and from their appointment.

In contrast, liver elastography can provide the information a doctor needs without the biopsy in most patients. The patient only undergoes a non-invasive ultrasound.

“The exam itself is simple and painless,” says Dr. King.

To prepare, patients should not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to their appointment. During the exam, the patient lies comfortably on their back while an ultrasound technologist will take images of the liver, gallbladder, spleen and sometimes more, depending on the ordering provider's request. Then there is about 5-10 minutes of additional imaging of the liver to obtain the elastography measurements. After the exam, the patient will leave with no lingering side effects.

“For most patients, it’s a ticket to avoid a liver biopsy,” says Dr. King.

A radiologist will review the images and assess an “F-score,” or fibrosis score. This tells the doctors the level of liver scarring present. Dr. King explains the results, “The F-score scale is from F0-F4, with scores of F3 and F4 corresponding to severe fibrosis and cirrhosis, respectively. Scores of F0-F1 correspond to No or Minimal Fibrosis, respectively. F2 is in-between. Your provider will use this information to help determine the most appropriate care plan.”