Prior News Items at Kimball Health Services
New CAT Scanner and more new technology at KHS
A new 16-slice computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanner is one of several new ways Kimball Health Services is using technology to benefit its patients. The scanner takes a series of x-ray images at different angles to create cross-sectional, two-and three-dimensional images of bones and soft tissues. These images help detect conditions such as cancer, vascular diseases and hemorrhaging in the brain.
Other advancements last year include a new audiometer and mini-booth to provide improved hearing tests for OSHA physicals needed by local industrial workers, and a new mobile provider for ultrasounds, which will provide general ultrasound with some vascular and Doppler studies.
Rural Nebraska health care coalition announces $18 million fiber optic project
A consortium of western Nebraska hospitals and clinics ceremonially broke ground in November 2010 on an $18 million fiber optic network that will connect health care facilities throughout the region.
According to the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, the project will give the facilities their own version of a private high-speed Internet. The funds will help the RNHN to construct an 800-mile fiber optic network that will connect 21 sites in western Nebraska.
The Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network began working on the project in April 2007, applying for funds through the Federal Communications Commission. The project will connect nine hospitals in the network, including Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Perkins County Health Services in Grant, Morrill County Community Hospital in Bridgeport, Memorial Health Center in Sidney, Kimball Health Services in Kimball, Gordon Health Services in Gordon, Garden County Health Services in Oshkosh, Chadron Community Hospital in Chadron and Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance.
The RNHN was one of 69 applicants approved to receive a monetary award for a Federal Communications Commission effort called the Rural Health Care Pilot Project.
"Our system is the first that the FCC has funded that is new construction," said Bonni Carrell, RNHN executive director. The project is also among the largest funded by the FCC.
Eighty-five percent of the project is funded through the FCC grant. The other 15 percent will be funded through a commercial agreement with Zayo Networks, a telecommunications company based in Louisville, Colo. As part of the project, the fiber optic network will connect with private Internet services in Denver. Zayo will control a share of the network's capacity.
Harold Krueger, chief executive officer at Chadron Community Hospital and founder of the RNHN, said the network will speed up a variety of health care services, from providing care to trauma patients to daily practice. In health care, there is often "so much data and so little time. We will be much more able to move data in the time that is needed," he said.
The network will improve the transmission of information, such as transmitting X-ray images from hospitals throughout the region and to Denver facilities where they are interpreted. One of the advantages of the network is that the hospitals and clinics on the network will be able to use a system dedicated to them without "competition" from other users. The secure network will also offer privacy and freedom from viruses and other concerns that come with commercial services.
The network can also be useful in tele-medicine applications, such as allowing patients to consult with specialty physicians without leaving their home communities. Electronic records sharing among facilities will also make huge advances, allowing the records of a patient from one facility to be sent seamlessly to another.
Zayo Networks President Glenn Russo said the network would allow the company "to create a regional footprint in Nebraska and northeast Colorado." He called it "a great boon to the Nebraska economy."
The project is slated for completion by the end of 2012.