12 am: 56°FMostly Cloudy

2 am: 54°FMostly Cloudy

4 am: 53°FMostly Cloudy

6 am: 53°FRain

More Weather

New mobile digital radiology wireless service gearing up in West Virginia

Sep. 16, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Ron McCall knows what a difference an on-site imaging service can be to the residents of Madison Park nursing facility.

It's the difference being jostled around and transported to spend a few hours or more with an unfamiliar face. And while that person might be well trained and have medical information such as diagnoses and medications, "You can't put everything on paper -- all the nuances of that person," said McCall, the administrator at Madison Park.

All of that makes for a strenuous situation for a person who's likely in feeble health to begin with, he said.

McCall is looking forward to the start of a new service that can be utilized in Huntington and throughout West Virginia. OnSite Digital Radiology Services will offer mobile digital radiology wireless services.

Richard Pulcrano, president and CEO of OnSite Digital Radiology Services, received approval from the West Virginia Health Care Authority last month on a certificate of need for the development of mobile digital radiology wireless services, a proposal for which the associated capital expenditure is $1,129,150, according to a release from the authority.

According to a release from OnSite, the company will be West Virginia's first statewide provider of mobile digital radiography (DR) services, making it the second state in the country to provide statewide DR services for the benefit of the state's geriatric communities.

DR service reduces the amount of radiation per image and has electronic medical record capabilities that eliminate the need for duplicating services if a patient is transferred between medical centers. According to the release, it has a 3,500 percent increase in diagnostic quality over conventional X-rays.

It also reduces trauma to patients as well as Medicare and Medicaid spending by eliminating the need to transport patients.

"It's going to be really great," said McCall, who has known Pulcrano for more than 20 years -- since he founded a mobile X-ray business in the state. "There's a huge difference from the old technology.... Both the radiologist and physician can look at the images at the same time. They can confer back and forth immediately. We can have their report all in a few minutes. ... It's a big step in technology and will be beneficial to our residents."

Operating on a 24-7 basis and using the latest wireless technology, the average time for an image to be taken from the mobile unit and transmitted to the ordering physician is 30 minutes, the release said.

Based on this certificate of need application, OnSite agreed to only provide mobile imaging services to skilled and unskilled nursing facilities, assisted living residencies, legally unlicensed homes, hospice, home care and correctional facilities in West Virginia's 55 counties. But it also will provide services in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

A graduate of George Washington University, Pulcrano pioneered mobile imaging services in West Virginia the 1980s, but spent the past five years out of state as the COO and regional vice president of a national diagnostic company.

His new company will hire 12 full-time and 12 part-time radiologic technologists throughout the state. He can be reached and resumes can be sent to OnSiteDigitalRadSv@yahoo.com.