CMC offers latest in technology
By Margaret Richman
Margaret Richman photo
Melissa Propson, manager of Laboratory and Imaging Services, and Heather Heinrich, Medical Lab scientist, demonstrate the new Chepleid GeneXpert Lab Technology at Calumet Medical Center in Chilton.

A critical access hospital, smaller in comparison to large city medical facilities, does not imply a compromise in the use of the latest technology in medicine.

Calumet Medical Center (CMC) continues to implement technological advancements in today’s world of specialized medicine.

The CMC Lab and Imaging Services provide a glimpse of the medical center’s commitment toward the latest advancements in technology as they recently implemented leading molecular detection and surveillance technology. The Cepheid GeneXpert System allows quick and proactive identification of Influenzae, C Difficle and other dangerous infections in the community. With its adoption and installation of the new system, CMC now offers rapid molecular laboratory testing onsite to detect and treat diseases as quickly as possible.

Melissa Propson, manager of Laboratory and Imaging Services at CMC, said, “The GeneXpert System allows our lab professionals to manage all aspects of the testing process onsite, from sample preparation and DNA extraction to amplification and detection. This technology will enable our clinicians to identify and treat diseases much earlier than ever before, giving us results within 90 minutes versus one to three days for samples sent to reference labs.”

Family practitioner and CMC Director of Medical Affairs Gene Tipler, MD, confirms the value of the new system. “CMC is committed to adopting the most effective practices to prevent the spread of infection and improve patient care. Having accurate test results in 90 minutes enables physicians to immediately prescribe treatment protocols and antibiotics that target the specific infection, rather than administering a wide-spectrum antibiotic which may not be necessary,” Tipler said.

Propson adds, “The CMC lab which includes chemistry, hematology, and our blood bank handles onsite 90 percent of all tests ordered by our primary care providers and Specialty Services physicians.”

Kevin Foley, CMC coordinator of imaging, provides a reminder to the community about additional high level imaging technology available at CMC. “We are able to provide testing in a number of areas including ultrasound, bone density, CT scans (computed tomography), and MRI’s (magnetic resonance imaging). Nuclear Medicine provides radioactive traces to view the function of organs versus a stationary picture and mammography is offered as a walk-in service 8:30 a. m. to 3:30 p. m. on all weekdays. Our technologists offer high quality care, familiar friendly faces right here close to home,” Foley said.