With a family history of colon cancer, Ron Kirkman knows the importance of early screening tests. "My father died of colon cancer and my brother has had it," said Ron. "So I am vigilant about getting regular colonoscopies." Before this past November, Ron had experienced two conventional colonoscopies, a procedure whereby a thin lighted tube is inserted to view the colon. However, because of a minor obstruction during the procedure last November, Ron's doctor opted not to complete the exam in the conventional Patient Benefits from New Technology manner. Instead, he recommended that Ron undergo a newer, less invasive procedure called virtual colonoscopy.

Unlike the conventional test, a virtual colonoscopy uses BID–Needham's newly installed, advanced generation, multi-slice CT scanner, the most sophisticated of its kind in the world, to create images of the colon region that are then viewed by radiologists. Although the preprocedure routine is similar for both tests, there is no need to insert a scope. The exam itself can be done in less than 10 minutes, and patients are able to return to their normal activities immediately.

Virtual colonoscopies are just one of the more advanced procedures now being performed at BID–Needham since it fully integrated its Radiology Department with that of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). The collaboration brings some of the most sophisticated imaging procedures as well as immediate access to additional experts at BIDMC to the greater Needham community.

"I was surprised and pleased to learn I could have this state-of-the-art test right here at Beth Israel Deaconess–Needham," said Ron. A longtime patient of BID–Needham, Ron benefited from the technological upgrades in the Radiology Department while still experiencing the renowned caring and compassion of the hospital staff.

"I know I am going to be treated well at BID–Needham, everyone is just nice, period. With advanced capabilities and great people, there is no need for me to go anywhere else."