Checklist for New Joint Commission Safety Requirements

While they released a Sentinel Event Alert on MRI safety in 2008, and while they’ve interpreted MRI-specific applications of a couple of hospital-wide standards (mainly, non-magnetic portable fire extinguishers), it was this past December (2013) when they announced their first explicit MRI Safety Standards, which become effective in July of 2014.

There are a few highly-specific criteria that don’t leave much to interpretation (collect data on your failed screenings in which a ferromagnetic object was allowed to enter the MRI scanner room), and there are more somewhat ambiguously-worded standards (manage MRI safety risks). Any facility that has undergone more than one Joint Commission survey knows that there is often different emphasis from one survey to the next, even if the standards haven’t changed. What follows is my own, personal, compliance checklist of the new MRI standards. While not reviewed / approved / sanctioned / blessed by the Joint Commission, I would contend that anyone who can check all of these boxes should sail through any survey that uses the new MRI safety standards… Continue reading

2014 – A Brave New Year

Every New Year holds great promise… this one perhaps more than most.

First, I want to share with you that my direct employment with Mednovus has ended. The relationship with the founders and principals of the company is as strong as ever, and I owe them a huge debt of gratitude for allowing me to do so much ‘extracurricular’ work to further MRI safety. I will continue to work with them on a consulting basis, indefinitely. Which is a great segue into my new venture… Continue reading

Back from the Hack…

A couple of days ago I was alerted to the fact that MRImetaldetector.com had been hacked. Someone defaced this site and made the content of this blog inaccessible. Thanks to the technical assistance of my webhost (www.DowntownHost.com), we were able to retrieve and restore much of the previous content, by rebuilding the site and doing a little database trickery. As of right now, the text of the site is up and functional… but the images and media files are not. At least not yet.

I hope to have all of the prior content back and fully accessible in the next several days, if the technical spirits will cooperate.

The one thing that is irretrievably lost are comments that were awaiting moderation. My apologies to anyone who had responded to a piece, or posed questions that weren’t answered.

Thank you, one and all, for being a part of this community.

Tobias Gilk

(Not) Too Late For MRI Safety…

I apologize for my unusually long hiatus from posting. I’d love to tell you that I haven’t written because I’ve been so extraordinarily busy putting the final touches on a set of meaningful standards which will effectively protect the 30,000,000 (that’s million) annual MRI patients in the U.S. from the most frequent preventable MRI injuries. I’d love to tell you that, but it’d be a lie… Continue reading

It’s Come To This: Trading MRI Safety For Reimbursement Support

If you’ve ever been on an email mailing list for the ACR, then you’ve probably received a few of these in the last few months… emails imploring you to contact your Senators and Representatives to urge them to support the Diagnostic Imaging Services Access Protection Act (HR 3269). So far I’ve received three or four of them, and for the ones I’d received previously, I replied, agreeing to contact my elected officials on their behalf, but on one condition…

Continue reading

MRI Safety: Ambivalence vs. Hypocrisy

Ambivalence is rampant with respect to MRI safety. “It hasn’t happened to us (so therefore the risk is just theoretical)”, or “MRI is the safe modality”, or “our last license or accreditation surveyor didn’t say anything, so we must be good.” In large part, I understand this let-sleeping-dogs-lie attitude (I don’t agree with it, but I can understand where it comes from). What I can’t abide, however, is hypocrisy with regard to MRI safety as typified by one entity’s ‘we’re the greatest thing for MRI safety since sliced bread’ PR.

Yes, I’m talking about the ACR…

Continue reading

Looooooong Overdue…

Those who know me know that I’m an upbeat person. Not the spring-out-of-be-fifteen-minutes-before-the-alarm-“so-happy-to-greet-the-morning” type of upbeat, but more of an indefatigable cautious-optimism. Yes, there are bad days… days when I’d just prefer to pull the covers over my head to wait to see if next week Thursday offers enough to coax me out of bed. But I’m of the firm belief that – on those days – you have to drag your sorry butt out of bed and put one foot in front of the other, if for no other reason than you might forget how if you skip a day. Someday, no matter how distant or unlikely, you will meet your goal.

Guess what? Today is one of my somedays! Continue reading

Transparency & Disappearance

Ironically, those two words – so similar on the surface – often turn out to be antonyms. Today I’m going to attempt to provide you with some transparency relative to a recent disappearance here on this site.

Want To Learn About What Disappeared, And Why?

MRI Safety, Per ACR Accreditation Standards

“Peachy Keen!”

One can only presume that this is the commentary that US States and radiology accreditation agencies have to offer on the contemporary state of MRI safety. After all, there’s been nothing more than navel-gazing when it comes to measurable changes in standards for MRI providers. Let’s break it down…

Click to Read About the ACR and MRI Safety Standards…

PLEASE Don’t Call It The “MRI Safe” Pacemaker…

It’s almost enough to bring my high school English teacher back from the dead… me, railing on someone else’s vocabulary skills. What I’m talking about here is the new Revo pacemaker (formerly known as Enrhythm) by Medtronic, designed to allow pacemaker patients to receive MRI scans.

Revo MRI Sure Scan Pacemaker

Revo MRI Sure Scan Pacemaker by Medtronic

Continue reading