Houston may only be an hour’s drive from Liberty County, but for those facing health and transportation issues, the distance might seem impossible. That’s why Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center is proud that it now offers cardiology services for its rural patients.
Dr. Nitin Mahajan, who previously worked for Houston Northwest Medical Center, Kingwood Hospital and St. Joseph’s Medical Center, and operates a private practice in the Humble area, joined Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center more than a year ago. He sees cardiology patients on a bi-weekly basis – every other Wednesday – in Liberty.
“When I talk to my patients in Liberty, Houston seems a long way away from them. Most of my patients here previously drove to Baytown when they needed to see a cardiologist. If they can have same-day services here that they would get in Houston without a need to travel, then they will be more compliant and see their doctor when it’s needed,” said Mahajan.
Mahajan said he strives to educate patients on cardiac issues as a way of treating and preventing illnesses.
“Someone must educate patients on preventive measures that can help them avoid cardiac problems altogether. If there are problems, we must identify and treat them, and provide access to a specialist when it’s needed,” he said.
Some of the cardiology services offered at LDRMC are CT scans and echocardiograms. If stress testing is needed for a patient, Mahajan sets up an appointment at his clinic in Humble.
“The challenges in a rural hospital is you can do tests but if they don’t get read by a doctor on time, then they may not really help the patient. What we do is remotely transfer these studies and I remotely read them. It provides the opportunity to have the studies the same day or the following day,” he said.
Amanda Williams, radiology manager for LDRMC, says the hospital is hoping to raise awareness of these services.
“Once a patient goes through our ER and they need cardiac follow-up, we can refer them to our cardiologist if they don’t have one already. We also take referrals from physician’s offices,” she said.
Williams said the quick process for echocardiograms can also credited be to the company the hospital uses – Echo Tech Unlimited.
“They have 30-plus years of experience. The owner is the sonographer who performs our echoes here. The benefit of us being able to do these echoes here is that it is a super-fast process – like 15 minutes. Patients are often in and out of here within 15 minutes,” she said.
For more information on Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, go online to http://www.libertydaytonrmc.com or call 936-336-7316. The hospital has its own clinic that sees patients Monday through Friday. To set up an appointment at the clinic, call 936-336-9175.