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The types of imaging services offered are general radiography, fluoroscopy, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, interventional and angiographic special procedures, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), skeletal, chest, genitourinary, gastrointestinal, and pediatric radiology. In recent years we have entered into several contracts to provide teleradiology services around the country. All technologists are registered and state licensed to perform their respective examinations in accordance with current practice standards. Continuous in-service programs, seminars, and in-house cross training are required to ensure that the staff is fully qualified to perform their assigned duties.
A trained and qualified support staff is an integral part of the department’s full service operation. Radiology film file clerks maintain complete radiological records so that current and previous X-rays/images and reports are made available to physicians requesting these services. A trained and licensed nursing staff supports patients’ medical needs while in the department. Secretarial and clerical staff support ensures that pertinent patient information is available quickly and accurately at all times. Over 20,000 reports are transcribed, distributed by email and filed every month. In addition, a voice recognition computerized reporting system, which is part of the RIS, is in place to provide timely reports to referring physicians.
The overall departmental operation is enhanced greatly by the use of a radiology information management system called IDXrad. The features of this system include patient scheduling, tracking, results reporting, billing operations, and many other administrative functions. The system has been interfaced to the hospital’s information system for physician use campus wide so as to make information readily available to those caring for patients. The future holds many new challenges such as additional computerization of equipment, and re-establishing the PET / CT system. Additional needs include another high field strength magnetic resonance imaging system here on campus, and the upgrading of several other items of imaging equipment.
The Department of Radiology at UTMB has a longstanding commitment to clinical and laboratory research. This translates into multiple research opportunities for incoming residents. Current research interests include techniques to reduce metallic artifact in MRI; faster MRA sequences which allow dynamic imaging; and comparison of T1 relaxivity in contrast agents for MRI amongst others. This past year alone our residents presented at the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR), the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) and the Texas Radiological Society.
We now have a dynaCT bi-plane x-ray angiography system and a 2nd generation dual energy CT (Definition Flash, Siemens Healthcare) installed on our main campus, which opens many new research opportunities.
UTMB Radiology is characterized by excellent diversity of clinical material and a rich tradition of teaching. Over 200,000 exams are performed annually and these come from the main state hospital, a large Texas Department of Corrections Hospital, a Pediatric Hospital, and the Shriners Burns Hospital. In addition numerous outpatient facilities feed material to the Department.