August 5, 2015 (San Rafael) Marin Community Clinics (MCC) today announced that, as of August 5, it is offering Radiology Services at its Kerner Blvd. Clinic in San Rafael.
MCC is the only community clinic in the Redwood Community Health Coalition to provide this service on site. (The Coalition is comprised of 17 community health centers located in Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Yolo Counties.)
To start, services will be offered four hours/day, three days/week; hours of operation will be expanded as volume increases. The service will also be available at the Clinics’ Novato location in early 2016, when facility expansion at that site is completed.
Services will include a broad array of general x-rays for both adults and children, including chest and limb x-rays. Other diagnostic procedures, such as ultrasound, are being explored for the future.
The equipment (General Electric Brivo X385) is state-of-the-art and produces digital (rather than film) x-rays. The Clinics has contracted with SimonMed to provide a dedicated, bilingual radiology technologist, local radiologists who will read the x-rays, and other support services.
On-site service will enhance patient access and quality of care
Prior to having this service, Clinics patients who were insured needed to travel to Marin General Hospital for x-rays; those who were uninsured often had to travel as far as Santa Rosa.
“Many of our patients have challenges with transportation,” reports Linda Tavaszi, CEO. “Imagine having a problem with your arm or leg and having to take several buses – and spend many hours on the road – to obtain an x-ray in Santa Rosa. Some just simply can’t do it.”
In the initial planning for the Kerner Clinic site, a lead-lined room was prepared for the eventuality that x-services might be added in the future.
“Now that we have this service in-house, our patients will have ready access to the majority of
the x-rays they need,” explained Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer. “Plus, with the digital method and our electronic health record system, our clinicians will have timely reports. In the past, when x-rays were provided elsewhere, there were often delays.”
“There is no question but that having on-site radiology services will not only be easier for our patients, but result in higher quality care, less costly care,” concluded Popat.
Prior to having its in-house radiology equipment, the Clinics referred out approximately 140 patients per month for x-rays. Estimates are that, with just the initial three days/week schedule, the Clinics will be able to see 180 patients in-house per month. Patients requiring mammograms or more advanced imaging will continue to be referred to MGH or Santa Rosa.
Funding made possible through generous community donations
The $150,000 Radiology Services project was funded by generous donations from Susan and Dennis Gilardi (Larkspur) and Mary and Stephen Mizroch (San Rafael).
“Without the generosity of donors such as the Gilardis and Mizrochs, the Clinics would have limited ability to add such an important service,” reported Linda Tavaszi, CEO.