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Q&A with Dr. Daniel Mitchell

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | February 15, 2019
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Rutland Regional Medical Center

HCB News: What attracts staff to Rutland Regional? I know you’ve touched on the outdoorsy aspect of the state, but are there other aspects such as the work culture?
DM: That’s actually something that I think is an advantage of a small hospital. You can change culture much more readily. It’s a small place in a small town and everybody knows each other. The culture here is very welcoming, very collaborative, and I think people are proud of that.

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As far as attracting staff, there are two populations. One is the locals who grew up here and wanted to stay, and they can’t help but look at this hospital as the employer of choice in the area, which we are.
Then there are the people from out of town like myself, who see Vermont as the place they’d like to live, and its lifestyle. And similarly, it’s a great place to work. We tend to get a lot of applicants anytime we post a position. It’s a good place to be.

HCB News: Are there any big news items you’d like to talk about regarding the radiology department?
DM: We are constantly staying on top of technology, as you really have to in diagnostic imaging. We have new 3D breast imaging machines which we’re quite proud of. It’s the second generation of 3D tomosynthesis scanning for breast cancer. And we’re still the only hospital in Vermont to have it. The advantage of the second generation technology is that it’s a substantially lower radiation dose. The imaging quality is the same, but we’re delivering the lowest radiation dose of any FDA approved system on the market, in fact, lower than the conventional 2D imaging.

Hospitalist visits with patient
I don’t have data yet, but just anecdotally believe we’re finding smaller breast cancers. I’m very eager to see data at the end of one year to compare. That wouldn’t be surprising, based on nationwide data. We’ve also reduced the callback rate by about half.

In other big news, we’re almost finished with the construction for a new nuclear medicine scanner, which also has a fully capable CT unit in it. That’s an exciting new avenue for us. Overall, we’re constantly looking ahead in terms of technology, which is exciting.

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