Comprehensive and compassionate care in Northern Kentucky and beyond.

If you’re a patient at any of St. Elizabeth Heathcare’s six major locations in Northern Kentucky, you won’t need to ask, “Where’s the radiology department?” Patient ambassadors are always there and ready to guide your way.

“Our patient ambassadors do it all,” said Jason Wessel, director of radiology at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Whether that’s a personal hand-off to a technologist in the radiology department, or providing a blanket if a patient is cold, or wheeling a patient out to their car, our patient ambassador program has been tremendously successful,” he said.

Quality care, like that in the patient ambassador program, is a hallmark of this 150-year-old Catholic system that provides comprehensive and compassionate care to residents of Northern Kentucky, Greater Cincinnati and Southeast Indiana. Altogether, the system includes four in-patient hospitals, a large ambulatory-care center, a multi-specialty physicians group, a chemical dependency treatment center, and an array of other satellite locations and healthcare services throughout the Tri-state area.

Wessel and Brian Drees, radiology quality assurance systems manager, are proud of the accreditations that St. Elizabeth Healthcare has received from the American College of Radiology for all imaging modalities used at the health system, including CT, MRI, ultrasound, PET/CT, mammography and nuclear medicine.

St. Elizabeth has also been able to reduce report turnaround times from 24 to less than three hours in just two years, an achievement Wessel attributes to their strategic alignment with Radiology Associates of Northern Kentucky (RANK) (Crestview Hills, KY).

“Our radiologists have goals that align with our organization’s goals,” Wessel said. “These goals are all focused on quality. It’s rare to have a quality manager in the radiology department, but we have that at St. Elizabeth.

“Additionally, RANK’s organizational structure parallels that of our radiology department, which lends to a high level of collaboration on equipment purchases, policy development, and supply and protocol standardization,” he said.

St. Elizabeth’s radiologists have developed close consultative relationships with the area’s referring physicians, which ensures improved communication in this vital area of patient care, according to Drees.

“Communicating critical results is a priority,” said Drees. “Additionally, we have outstanding compliance with reporting critical results directly to the referring physician within 30 minutes of the findings.”

The system’s great working relationship with the area’s radiologists is critical to the overall quality of its services. Other expressions of St. Elizabeth’s ongoing pursuit of excellence include a fully-accredited stroke center, an MRI safety program, and an in-house dynamic radiation safety committee that continuously seeks new ways to reduce radiation dose.

But quality is not the only factor that sets this system apart. St. Elizabeth Healthcare is also unique in its broad range of specialties, according to Wessel.

“Many hospitals need to transfer patients to a university setting for advanced care,” he said. “But at St. Elizabeth, our community hospitals have all the cutting-edge technology and the most advanced practitioners—from robotic heart surgery to the advanced imaging of a 320-slice CT scanner.”

The hospital is so serious about protecting patients from radiation dosage that president and chief executive officer, John Dubis, recently signed a pledge that the entire system will constantly work to keep dosages to the absolute minimum as part of the nationwide initiative, “Image Gently and Image Wisely.”

According to Drees, people just care about each other at St. Elizabeth, and that’s something employees spread to patients through initiatives like the patient ambassador program and in every other contact, including all of the 350,000 imaging procedures performed each year.

As an example, Wessel recalls a story that a hospital administrator recently shared with him: “He was in our department and encountered a patient in the hallway and asked if he could help her. The patient said, ‘You’re the fifth person who has asked me that. And I really appreciate it.'”

St. Elizabeth Healthcare
1 Medical Village Drive
Edgewood, KY 41017
(859) 301-2000