PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Ascension Sacred Heart Bay cut the ribbon Wednesday morning for a new radiology suite.

The $6 million facility is loaded with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment. It is also more efficient for staff and convenient for patients.

Three years of planning and building culminated Wednesday morning as the hospital opened the doors to the new radiology suite.

The previous facility was not accessible from all areas of the hospital. The new one is attached to the emergency room.

“Direct attachment to the back of the ER so our timely sensitive inpatient acute or emergency room studies that are also needed are going to be receiving these in a new kind of patient experience as well as new technology,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mario Pulido said.

The facility was designed to be a one-stop shop for patients needing X-Rays, or CT and MRI scans.

“You had to kinda piece it together and go get a study elsewhere and come back and collaborate with your clinicians; just more gaps creates more time, creates more disparity, and the algorithm of the plan being developed,” Dr. Pulido said. “So to narrow those gaps and be able to provide a more comprehensive service is gonna benefit not only outcomes but patient experience.”

Dr. Pulido said the new facility showcases what the hospital staff intends to do for the community.

“This is very exciting, you know just to have the feeling, the sensation, the support after all we’ve been through in this community from a health care perspective. Hurricane, pandemic and just all the many things that have impacted the delivery of healthcare,” Pulido said. “To still see that commitment to bring things forward, to make that investment to not only be able to provide the delivery of services but actually provide a better delivery of services tomorrow than we did yesterday.”

Staff trained on the equipment last week and have seen a few patients. The radiology suite will begin full operations in the near future.