Penn State Health transforms area into a Radiology Annex

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM)- Penn State Health’s Department of Radiology needed to find a way to perform X-rays on patients who could have COVID-19 without putting other at risk of contracting the virus. With all hands on deck, staff created a drive-up X-ray tent within just three days. It’s called the Radiology Annex and it’s located at 35 Hope Drive. Dr. Timothy Mosher, Chairman of Radiology says it’s similar to a photobooth.

“We basically have a plexiglass barrier in the doorway and the X-ray will pass through the plexiglass so we can have the machine inside the building and they just stand outside of the building,” said Dr. Mosher.

Dr. Mosher says if a potential COVID-19 patient was brought inside for an X-ray, it would take 90 minutes to completely decontaminate the room for the next patient. This new method is quicker and more efficient.

 “By having them outside of the building, we can do a very rapid X-ray and it doesn’t expose them to any chance of getting the virus if they don’t have COVID-19 or to pass that virus on to the next patient,” said Dr. Mosher.

Dr. Mosher says chest X-rays are not used for diagnosing COVID-19, but are used to diagnose other causes of symptoms that may mimic the virus , such as bacterial community-acquired pneumonia. For some patients, a chest X-ray may lead to a viral testing for COVID-19.

Patients will need a referral by their primary care provider before they can be seen at the Radiology Annex. Penn State Health says it’s in the process of setting up a similar radiology clinic site at Lime Spring Outpatient Center in Lancaster County.

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