Workers, physicians and others watched Wednesday as a 10,000-pound, $1.1 million piece of medical equipment was slowly lowered through the skylight at Eagle Medical Center in north Carson City.
Destined for Great Basin Imaging's new Medical Imaging Center on the building's third floor, the computed tomography scanner was hoisted by a 100-ton crane.
"They have to be lowered through huge skylights built specifically for this purpose," said Larry Weber, spokesman for Great Basin Imaging. "The equipment is too big and heavy to get it onto the third floor any other way."
Magnetic-resonance imaging, interventional and nuclear medicine equipment were also lowered through the skylight Wednesday, making up the backbone of the center's new outpatient imaging department.
Set to open June 2, the 20,000-square-foot center occupies the entire third floor and will offer services including digital mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy and a multi-slice Computer T scanner for bonescans and cancer staging.
Positron Emission Tomography scans will be available once a week, but Great Basin expects to install a fixed scanner within the year, said radiologist Dr. David Landis.
A new digital network replaces the films traditionally used for images and special microwave network will send those images between Carson-Tahoe Hospital and the center. Films can still be produced for patients or physicians who prefer them.
State-of-the-art equipment and new digital technology will allow physicians to review their patient's images over a secure Internet connection, but the advantages don't stop there, Weber said.
"We're creating a combination of the most modern equipment and a digital fiber network to shorten waiting times, expedite health care and decrease anxiety for patients," Weber said. "Our services will also compliment the many new patient services at Eagle Medical Center, like urgent care, physical therapy, cardiology and orthopedic surgery."
A tangle of subtle hues mix with the bamboo and hardwood floors in the center. Large windows provide views in every direction and plans include coffee and latte bars in the new women's health center.
"We've done the research. That's what women want," Weber said. "It's all designed with the patient in mind."