Rangely District Hospital adds bone density screening machine

RANGELY — No longer will people have to wait for bone density testing.
A traveling bone density machine used to come to Rangely District Hospital every two months. Now, screening can be done three days a week. Thanks to a new bone testing machine.
The machine was delivered at the end of December.
“Now we can provide (testing) weekly,” said Nancy Droste, radiology manager. “We can schedule patients for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, by appointment only.”
Droste said a bone screening is a quick and painless procedure.
“A screening usually takes 15 minutes to a half hour, tops,” Droste said. “There’s no prep. It’s very relaxing. It’s a very low dose of radiation. So that’s another benefit. It’s kind of like the X-rays they use when you go through an airport.”
While the results aren’t known immediately, the turnaround is quick, Droste said.
“We usually get a report in about two days, or even same day,” she said. “It’s a screening, so the information goes to the doctor.”
A new bone density machine costs between $50,000 and $80,000, but Droste said the hospital was able to buy a three-year-old machine for far less than that, because a company was no longer going to provide service in this area.
“Everything in radiology is expensive,” Droste said. “We actually lucked into a great deal with the machine.”
A bone density screening is recommended every two years for Medicare patients, unless on treatment, than once a year, Droste said.
“It checks for the beginnings of osteoporosis,” she said. “We’re basically screening your density of bones … to see if you need treatment and help prevent and treat spinal and hip fractures, or any fracture, but those are most common with the elderly.”