The Benefits of MRSO Training and Credentialing

  Mar 29th, 2018   -     Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), MR Safety Officer, MR Safety Officer   -  

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Between the years 2000 and 2013, MRI utilization increased 114% (IMV Medical Information Division data). In that same time period, the number of MR safety incidents reported to the FDA increased 487% (FDA MAUDE database data).

As a note, it is estimated than less than 20% of MR safety incidents are actually reported to the FDA. In 2002 the first revision of the ACR Guidance Document on MR Safe Practices was published. That document has been revised several times with the most recent revision in 2013. In 2008, the Joint Commission published its Sentinel Event #38 entitled “Preventing Accidents and Injuries in the MRI Suite”.  That document basically reflected the ACR guidance document. Both call for the appointment of individuals to be responsible to ensure the safe delivery of MRI procedures. The ACR guidance document details the responsibilities of the MR Medical Director. Those responsibilities include developing and approving MR safe practice policies and procedures. The sites MR Safety Office works under the direction of the MR Medical Director to implement those policies and procedures.

In many facilities, the lack of well-defined MR safety policies, procedures and delineation of responsibilities, results in considerable time being spent trying to identify implants and/or devices and determining the safety labeling (if any). Implants and/or devices which are conditionally safe for MRI are becoming more commonplace and will continue to increase. Once the implant or device is identified, then excessive time is often spent trying to determine how to proceed with the exam. Often times the decision depends on the particular radiologist who is reading MR that day.

Again, the confusion and excessive time spent in these necessary safety functions is most often due to the lack of well-defined policies and procedures as well as ill-defined and/or poorly understood responsibilities of the staff (both radiologists and technologists). If there is no one with a solid understanding of safety labeling and the specific conditions of use of an implant or device, the exam may simply be cancelled.

This not only results in a loss of revenue for the facility but a delay in the care of the patient. Appointing  an MR Safety Officer (MRSO) improves efficiency and increases revenue by defining and streamlining the patient screening and safety decision making process. Additionally, the risk of patient injury is reduced by reducing ambiguity in how patient safety questions are to be answered.



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