Easier access to advances radiology services provides extra benefits to VSON patients, locals, and visitors | VailDaily.com
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Easier access to advances radiology services provides extra benefits to VSON patients, locals, and visitors

By Andy Stonehouse

Anyone who’s experienced a sudden orthopaedic injury knows the additional anxiety that comes along with trying to arrange diagnostic tests – which can sometimes require waits, multiple appointments or even out-of-town travel to complete.

Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery has made an extra effort to offer a full range of x-ray and MRI tests as in-house services for their patients, including investing in state-of-the-art equipment that’s designed to create a more comfortable experience. 

VSON’s team of highly-trained technicians also helps assure a  quick turnaround process that allows physicians to have faster access to diagnostic results, which are necessary for them to design a treatment plan that fits the patient’s unique injury.



“All the techs are passionate about their work, providing a positive experience, and
doing all they can to assure better outcomes.” (Photo by VSON)

In Frisco, VSON has expanded its radiology services to provide weekend MRI services to any patients needing the advanced diagnostic scan, especially after a complex ski or snowboarding injury.

Marna Walker, Radiology Supervisor, says the move to provide weekend MRIs is just part of VSON’s dedication to patient-centered care.

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“These services are an extra bonus and reduce the burden on orthopaedic patients, especially in urgent care situations,” Walker says. “We also have the ability to take outside orders from other providers, which may help people avoid a trip to Denver and offer better continuity of care for locals.”

Modern, Patient-Friendly Equipment

This last year, VSON invested heavily in a range of new radiology diagnostic equipment at its locations in both Summit and Eagle counties. These high-tech systems are designed to provide more focused results and a more pleasant experience.



“Our new x-ray equipment is a semi-automated system that allows us to stitch together multiple images, which is useful when doing full-length x-rays of legs, for instance,” Walker says. “The automated component allows the images to be more precise, allowing doctors to accurately diagnose the injury.”

VSON recently purchased new Canon MRI equipment that is designed specifically to help offset the noise, cold temperatures and claustrophobic experiences some patients struggle with during MRI procedures.

“This new equipment has a wider opening and shorter bore, which is the tube patient’s lay in, all to help reduce the claustrophobia some people get during procedures,” Walker explains. “This gives us the capability to ensure patient comfort and improve their experience.”

This new equipment has a wider opening
and shorter bore, which helps reduce the
claustrophobia some people get during
procedures. (Photo by VSON)

Special software and noise-cancelling earmuffs help cut out noise during the scan, and patients can also listen to music of their choice – all VSON clinics have full Pandora music access. 

“We’ve had really good patient feedback in the month or so that we’ve been using the new equipment – people say they’ve actually enjoyed the procedure, especially the music,” she says. “It’s faster, quieter and a luxurious experience, with a cushy pad and lots of blankets available.”

Expert Equipment for an Expert Team

Walker works with a team of radiology technicians at both the Summit and Eagle County clinics and is also a trained technician herself. The result is clinics with multiple technicians who are capable of using multiple diagnostic equipment, with less likelihood that imaging tests can’t be performed because specific staff aren’t available.

“Our radiology team are the leading experts in their field,” Walker says. “Additionally, all the techs are passionate about their work, helping our patients, providing a positive experience, and doing all they can to assure better outcomes.”

Walker said the new systems are also beneficial in providing imaging that is instantly available and reviewable, with the opportunity for same-day access to many VSON providers. 

“We take pride in our equipment and how it can provide both efficient and sufficient images for every test,” Walker adds. “It’s all been an amazing success so far, and the protocols we’ve built are entirely set up for providing our community with the best possible care when they need it.”


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