Media Contacts

Kylene Metzger

Media Relations Specialist, University of Utah Health
Phone: 801-587-6238

Feb 24, 2020 12:00 AM

Spread vertically on three floors in the middle of University of Utah Hospital is the new home for Interventional Radiology and reading rooms for radiologists. The area provides new imaging technology in a centralized location to improve patient care. “Interventional radiology is not just diagnosing patients based on images,” says Satoshi Minoshima, M.D., P.h.D., Anne G. Osborn chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. “We actually treat patients using minimally invasive techniques.”

Not long ago, Interventional Radiology was somewhat isolated from University Hospital. Now, these services will be located in close proximity to the Emergency Room and Intensive Care Unit for life-saving procedures. 

The Department of Radiology supports nearly 500,000 exams a year, servicing all University of Utah Health hospitals, centers, and clinics. “We don’t actually produce film images like the old days,” Minoshima says. “We send digital images to our reading rooms and highly trained radiologists interpret every exam.” As the U of U Health system expands, an increasing patient volume means more images are needed to diagnose and treat patients. The new reading rooms will be well able to meet these growing needs and ultimately improve efficiency.

Recently, Minoshima helped formed a proactive partnership with University Hospital leadership called IMAGER (Integrated Management and Guidance for Enterprise Radiology). A task force designed to amplify the impact of the department’s services and technological advancements throughout the system was critical in building the new space. “We had a lot of discussion about how we are going to use this space effectively for better patient care,” says Minoshima. “I am very grateful for the collaborative leadership provided by Gordon Crabtree, Dan Lundergan, and Alison Flynn Gaffney.”

Reading RoomThe first floor of the new space consists of five reading rooms where radiologists receive and interpret nuclear medicine, MRI, X-ray, and CT scans. Each room is dedicated to a different specialty: Abdominal, Cardiothoracic, Neuroradiology, Musculoskeletal, and Nuclear Medicine. “Our new space centralizes the radiologists in one place to help with communication as well as convenience for physicians wanting to consult,” says Craig Benning, D.O. and Fellow of Abdominal Radiology. Reading rooms are also utilized by Acute Care. Faculty in Breast Imaging use reading rooms in facilities where mammography is done such as Huntsman Cancer Institute, Farmington, Sugar House, and South Jordan.

Floor 2Interventional Radiology patients will go to the second floor to check-in for procedures. Patients are prepped, and then taken to the third floor for imaging.They are then returned back to the second floor for recovery. The new area includes nine new rooms for pre-operation and recovery. There is also a nursing station, break room, and an office for IR staff.

Interventional radiology suites are located on the third floor and feature three new state-of-the-art imaging devices. “The advantage of the new equipment is better imaging and better integration that is designed to cover all the bases,” says Karen Brown, M.D., chief of interventional radiology.

The ARTIS Q ceiling mounted (single plane) system can be used to perform minimally invasive intervention procedures from head to toe. The machine allows radiologists to move the device around patients to enable imaging from varying perspectives. Machine 1

University of Utah is the first site in the nation to install the Siemens’ ARTIS “icono” biplanar angiography system. This machine is also used to perform full-body minimally invasive procedures, but also has additional capabilities for other conditions such as strokes. A machine technician uses controls to move the imaging equipment around the patient, which immediately appears on a large monitor for viewing.

The third room contains a Siemens C-arm, which is used for minor procedures like venous access and port placement. This machine provides the ability to capture quick, CT-like images of nearly every body part. The C-arm has the flexibility to move around a patient to produce images from almost any angle.Brain Scan

Minoshima describes the new radiology area as a critical “multi-functional” project designed to enhance the entire U of U Health system. He expects the relocation of the Interventional Radiology Department and the addition of updated equipment will improve the quality of patient care and patient satisfaction, and provide a better work environment for hospital staff. “I think it’s a triple win situation,” Minoshima says.