Saving Lives One Scan At a Time
By SpaceCoastDaily.com // February 8, 2012
CENTRAL FLORIDA – When Dr. David Williams and Dr. Tom Magee first met while working at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, little did they know that they would eventually team up with Rick Ramnath, a Harvard fellowship physician, to form NeuroSkeletal Imaging.
The talented board certified radiologists, all held the same philosophy: In order to provide high-level personalized patient care, radiology and MRI practices should be owned, managed and staffed by licensed board certified radiologists.
“We wanted to have a direct input into patient care,” said Dr. Magee.
“We also wanted to be innovative in our approach and give patients immediate answers to their medical questions, so that they can be as confident and as comfortable as possible. As radiologists, we know exactly what patients and providers want and need, and we wanted to be able to provide that service. That’s why we formed NSI – to be nimble and able to change things for the better.”
• Dr. David Williams, a principal owner of NSI, is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and a graduate from the University of Georgetown School of Medicine. He is a former assistant professor in Body Imaging at Bethesda Naval Hospital’s Armed Forces Medical School and a member of the Society of Skeletal Radiologists.
Dr. Williams has 21 years experience in orthopedic, body, neurological and vascular MRI and CT interpretations. An avid bicyclist, he also participates in sprint triathlons throughout the year.
• Dr. Tom Magee, a principal owner of NSI, is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and is the former Chief of Musculoskeletal Radiology at Bethesda Naval Hospital. Dr. Magee is a Board Examiner for Musculoskeletal Radiology at the American Board of Radiology. He has membership with the American College of Radiology MR Accreditation Panel, International Skeletal Society and the Society of Skeletal Radiologists.
Dr. Magee is a Reviewer for the Journals Radiology and Skeletal Radiology. He has 21 years experience in orthopedic MRI and CT interpretations; 16 years experience in body, neurological, and vascular MRI and CT interpretations; and is a Associate Professor of Radiology-Volunteer Faculty at the University of Miami.
• Dr. Rick Ramnath, a principal owner of NSI, is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology. He was the Chief Resident in Diagnostic Radiology at the Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital and the Chief Fellow in Musculoskeletal Radiology at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Ramnath is a member of the Society of Skeletal Radiologists; has 11 years experience in orthopedic, body, neurological, and vascular MRI and CT interpretations; and is an Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine. He has a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from Harvard University and his MD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. An avid runner, Dr. Ramnath competes in 5K runs and half marathons.
In order to serve its large number of patients in Central Florida, NSI has additional Associate Physicians who provide expert medical care.
• Dr. Rick Hartker is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology. He is Fellowship trained at the University of Chicago, Neuroradiology; is a Former Assistant professor at the University of Chicago, Neuroradiology; has 12 years experience in neuroradiology interpretations; and nine years experience in body, orthopedic and vascular interpretations.
• Dr. Marlon Adler is Board Certified by the American Board of Radiology and a graduate of the University of Missouri. He is Fellowship trained at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and a former Resident of the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville.
Dr. Adler has 11 years experience in neuroradiology, musculoskeletal and body interpretations. He is an avid sports enthusiast, coach, and former Division I quarterback for the University of Missouri Tigers.
“As radiologists, we know exactly what patients and doctors want and need, and we wanted to be able to provide that service. That is why we formed NSI – to be nimble and able to change things for the better.” – Dr. Rick Ramnath
In today’s tough medical environment of shrinking medical reimbursements and other consumer insurance issues, forming and maintaining such an enterprise with 70 employees is very difficult and challenging.
However, the three Central Florida radiologists have made their NeuroSkeletal Imaging business very successful through talent, hard work and a 100 percent customer service orientated approach. This has helped NSI to become one of the best radiology service centers in Central Florida.
After founding NSI in 2004, the three partners immediately opened three imaging locations in Central Florida – NSI Orlando, NSI Melbourne and NSI Merritt Island.
Today, NeuroSkeletal Imaging is dedicated to providing the patients and referring providers of Central Florida the most advanced radiology in the world. NSI’s facilities are among the very first to receive the latest and most advanced innovations available in the field of radiology.
“What many people don’t realize is that it’s less expensive to have a high quality imaging study done in an outpatient facility like NSI rather than at a more expensive hospital,” said Dr. Ramnath.
“That’s an important factor in today’s economic environment. As patients are now having more choices in where they have imaging studies done, our goal is to provide them with the best possible service at the best possible price.”
PATIENTS COME FIRST
NSI is a unique outpatient practice, not only because it is radiologist owned, but also because its radiologists directly oversee patient care and encourage communication with the referring colleagues.
NSI’s experts perform arthrographic and therapeutic joint procedures and are available for direct consultation with the referring providers and their patients.
Since NSI only answers to fellow providers, it can be truly dedicated to patient care and operate with the philosophy that the patients and referring providers come first.
NSI is dedicated to offering the most advanced MRI technology in the world as the facilities are among the first to receive the latest and most advanced innovations available in the field of radiology.
“We are proud to say that we were the first in the area to acquire and offer the 3.0 Tesla MRI, which is the most powerful MRI scanner available for clinical use and is considered the most advanced technology of its kind,” said Dr. Williams.
NSI’s 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners provides highly detailed images that helps in evaluating a wide range of conditions, including stroke, cancer and musculoskeletal disease.
“The 3.0 Tesla scanner costs around three times what a normal scanner would cost but we felt that it was critical for our patients that we offer the very best technology available to provide the clearest possible images,” said Dr. Williams.
“That was worth the extra investment.”
As part of their continuous effort to stay on the cutting edge, NSI routinely upgrades their MRI scanners when advancements and enhancements are introduced to the industry.
“We recently added several features to our Orlando 3.0 Tesla MRI,” said Dr. Ramnath.
“Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Tractography were installed to improve detection of brain injuries from trauma. For patients who cannot receive intravenous contrast, we also installed Inhance to evaluate intraabdominal and peripheral arteries without the need for contrast material.”
NSI also features a 1.5 Tesla High Field Open MRI by Siemens, which is the only Open Bore (tube) MRI that combines expansive patient comfort with no compromise in scan power.
“That means more head-room, more leg-room, and more elbow-room and our patients don’t feel like they’re nose-to-nose with the magnet,” said Dr. Magee.
“This allows our claustrophobic or anxious patients to be much more relaxed throughout their examination,”
NSI also offers the 0.7 Tesla Open MRI which takes on the architecture of the traditional (both sides opened) Open MRI scanner.
“We offer the very best technology available and we will always stay completely up to date with the advances that are made in radiology,” said Dr. Williams.
NSI’s Multi Slice CT systems (16 and 64 slice) are whole body multi-slice helical Computed Tomography (CT) scanners. They provide extended body coverage per rotation, exquisite image quality, and faster exams times.
NSI’s Ultrasound machines are fast, powerful and versatile. Michael Lamb, the Chief Executive Officer of NSI, a radiology industry veteran with over 16 years of operational excellence, is highly aware of the importance of having the best technology available for the patients.
“The ultrasound image is immediately visible on a nearby screen that looks much like a computer or television monitor,” said Lamb.
“It’s another way that NSI can deliver image results quickly and accurately so decisions can be made as fast as possible.”
“Our X-Ray machines produce digital radiographic exposures of the body specifically the skull, spinal column, chest and abdomen, as well as the extremities,” said Lamb.
“Patients 6’5” or less can be examined from head-to-toe without the need for repositioning. Patients can be accessed from all sides. The scanner has a motorized table adjustment which helps in the examination and transfer of small or disabled patients.”
Recognizing that all patients feel some level of anxiety about having medical procedures performed, NSI strives to minimize any stress and make the experience as pleasant and worry free as possible.
“We don’t strive to simply meet a patient’s or provider’s expectations, we make every effort to exceed them,” said Lamb.
As NSI’s radiologists are always on site, along with licensed Anesthesiologist associates, they can offer oral or intravenous on site sedation when necessary.
While all NSI’s patients require a prescription from a referring provider, there is no need to take medication in advance of their appointment.
“Our claustrophobic patients are often anxious about the MRI experience which is usually triggered by the thought of lying in a long narrow tube,” said Dr. Williams.
“However, our modern MRI’s have much shorter and wider cylinders than in years past, making the experience much more comfortable for claustrophobic patients. Sometimes, the patient’s head doesn’t even need to be inside the gantry, depending on the body part being imaged.”
Once an NSI examination is completed, the patient leaves and the images are then sent digitally to one of NSI’s sub-specialty-trained radiologists for interpretation.
The results are then mailed, faxed, and made available on-line (secure web portal) to the referring provider the same day or the following morning. If it is an urgent case, the patient is escorted to the waiting room while the radiologist discusses the findings of the case with the referring provider, who then decides the next plan of treatment.
Occasionally, patients will take their MRI films with them, based on the request of the referring provider.
NSI accepts most insurance plans. NSI works with all patients without insurance to achieve an affordable payment plan.
“We know that there are a lot of people out there that need an exam and can’t always pay for it,” said Lamb.
“We work hard with all patients to help them in times of financial hardship. For patients who do not have insurance coverage or for examinations that are not approved by the insurance company, NSI will tailor payment plans to each individual depending on the type of exam needed.”
INSTANT WEB ACCESS
All of NSI’s images are digitally acquired, rapidly reviewed and stored on secured archive servers for immediate viewing by the referring providers.
Using a unique user name and password, the referring provider is able to view the exam images from their office computer through a private and secure internet link with the NSI facility. This decreases the amount of time between the completion of the exam, and when the provider can view the images and results.
NSI also expedites the process by ensuring its radiologists reports are faxed and mailed the same day or next morning. Films and CDs are also delivered to the provider’s office the same day or next morning at their request.
NSI’s scheduling staff works hard to accommodate all exam requests the day they are requested. All urgent scans are performed immediately. Typically, an MRI will take between 15 and 30 minutes. If there is more than one body part being examined, an MRI may take up to 45 minutes. A CT scan will usually take less than 15 minutes.
“We are very proud of our team of 70 professional employees who are our most important asset,” said Dr. Williams. “We will always have the best technology available and we will always put the patient first. That is our philosophy and that will never change.”
For more information log on to NSIMRI.com or call 407-999-9988.