MRI & Machine Learning: Delays Slowing You Down?

In March of this year, there was an article posted in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) covering the most common reasons for MRI delays. The top two were patient motion and claustrophobia.

They pulled data from nine imaging centers operated by Emory University, and reviewed over 34,000 scans. Of those exams, 17 percent were delayed. Excluding delays associated with contrast administration, they found that 53 percent of delays were related to patient motion, 31 percent due to claustrophobia, and 19 percent were due to late arrivals. With this knowledge, Emory has already begun implementing strategies to rectify a solution.

Odds are, your own facility has faced each of these problems, too. So, what can you do to prevent these setbacks in your office?

Tracking and Measuring

In 2015, the Joint Commission released requirements for MRI safety, asking imaging facilities to track patient anxiety, claustrophobia, and the presence of metal and other foreign objects. Researching and understanding the logistics and trends can lead to greater workflow success. Though it is time consuming, you should take the time to review your MRI studies.

Emory has an electronic database to track MRI exams, from breaking down use of machines to why delays occurred. Some facilities still use a paper way of tracking. That is what Emory was doing before they created their electronic database. The technologist would record reasons for delays. Simply put, the paper record proved ineffective and made it difficult to accurately track the exams.

Machine Learning

Creating an electronic database to track your MRI delays, or any of your other modalities is a perfect example of using Machine Learning in your facility. Use technology to your advantage! There are effective, inexpensive ways to implement the technologies that will give back usable data to improve your practices. Dashboard services, such as NovaDash, can be a convenient and efficient way to monitor and increase your facility’s productivity.

As technology continues to advance so should your facility. Gone are the days of manual tracking, or not tracking at all. Facilities can now track where the weak spots are in their workflow quickly and effectively.

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