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St. Anthony's Hospital Offers First Ambient MRI In Florida
Date:8/12/2009

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Anthony's Hospital is proud to announce the installation of the only 3.0T MRI with Ambient Experience suite in Florida. Gone are the days when frightened patients are thrust into big, cold scary machines for lengthy, uncomfortable MRI scans. Now, calm beaches or majestic mountains with complementary lighting may surround you while the most powerful MRI available today scans your image for diagnosis.

The 3.0T MRI with Ambient Experience suite allows patients of St. Anthony's Hospital to instantaneously personalize the lighting, projected images and other elements of the exam room, giving them a greater sense of comfort and control over their experience. Patients utilizing St. Anthony's imaging services can select soothing images to be projected on the walls and ceiling accompanied by corresponding sounds, such as an underwater seascape or mountain scene complete with migrating geese. Wrapping the patient in an experience of their choosing changes the setting from a clinical room into an environment that puts him or her at ease.

The 3.0T MRI with Ambient Experience offers one of the most patient-friendly designs, with the shortest bore 3T MRI available today. It produces the most exquisite and highest quality images, making it especially useful in detecting minute abnormalities related to neurological, orthopedic injuries, vascular disease, and breast imaging.

"The difference between getting an MRI in a traditional suite compared to the Ambient Experience suite is night and day," said Adam Smith, St. Anthony's Hospital Imaging Services manager. "Most patients needing an MRI have some anxiety about the procedure. They're concerned about the state of their health, they're in the room alone and the system itself can be loud and startling. The Ambient Experience suite allows patients to relax, the images help them think about something other than the exam, the time passes faster and their fears during the process are significantly reduced. It makes a difference in patient satisfaction."

"We want to ensure our patients have access to the finest diagnostic systems and that our hospital maintains its focus on patient care and comfort," said Bill Ulbricht, president of St. Anthony's Hospital. "The Ambient Experience suite combines diagnostic power with patient-focused, consumer-based technology to improve quality of care. From the reaction of our patients, physicians and team members, we are confident that the 3.0T with Ambient Experience suite takes patient-focused care to a higher level."

A simple MRI test can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes and many patients may require sedation because they cannot relax and stay still. However, with a virtually created environment that can help empower, distract, calm or relax patients, the Ambient Experience can help reduce the number of patients who require sedation, making scanning a shorter, safer, faster and simpler procedure.

St. Anthony's Hospital is a 395-bed hospital founded in 1931 as a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany and is the first and only faith-based hospital in Pinellas County. In 1997, St. Anthony's Hospital became part of BayCare Health System, a joint operating agreement between the Tampa Bay area's leading not-for-profit hospitals. St. Anthony's Hospital has a rich history dedicated to improving the health of the community by providing high-quality, innovative and compassionate care. St. Anthony's Hospital also is comprised of the following health care facilities: St. Anthony's Imaging Center and St. Anthony's Outpatient Center.

About BayCare Health System

BayCare Health System is the largest community-based health system in the region, providing expert medical care for a patient's lifetime. Composed of hospitals and numerous affiliated services, the system connects patients to a complete range of services throughout the Tampa Bay area. Together, BayCare organizations seek to advance the health of their patients and their communities.

Member hospitals are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Women's, St. Joseph's Hospital North (opening 2010) and South Florida Baptist. On the web: www.baycare.org.


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SOURCE St. Anthony's Hospital
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