“Pardon me, but could you spare $43,172?”

No, this isn’t about federal banking bail-outs or corporate welfare. This is the cost, in real-world dollars, of an average single MRI projectile accident in the VA Healthcare system.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has an amazing resource, the National Center for Patient Safety, which has access to detailed accident evaluations that, by law, are kept confidential within the VA. What NCPS has done over the years, however, is to evaluate and distil the data, providing useful pictures of complex risk profiles.

Late last year, the NCPS updated their previously published ‘MR Hazard Summary‘ in which they quantified, for the first time, the average cost of one MRI missile accident at $43,172.

What isn’t included in the VA’s cost average, because they don’t operate on a per procedure reimbursement rate, is the lost revenue from MRI downtime. This 5-figure cost average does include magnet system damage, cost of care for injury accidents, costs associated with farming-out MRI patients to other providers, but not the overhead expenses and lost revenue that would be critical components of commercial providers’ costs.

Even though revenue for an efficient MRI provider should be on the order of $1,000 per hour and overhead costs are several thousand dollars per business day, let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the VA’s number is equally true for the per-procedure payees.

  • If a box of donuts will entice staff to a lunch-hour meeting, you could provide over 19 years of daily MRI safety updates to your staff for the cost of a single accident.
  • Or, if MRI safety conferences cost $2,000 to attend, $43,172 would provide for 21 conferences (plus a little extra for the bar tabs) for a site’s Technologists.
  • Or, for less than half of the cost of a single accident you could buy, have installed, and provide regular training for a pass-through Mednovus MRI Sentinel® ferromagnetic detector.
  • Or you could provide the hand-held Mednovus SAFESCAN Target Scannerâ„¢ and have more than $40,000 left over!

When people assert that ferromagnetic screening tools are simply ‘too expensive,’ it must be because nobody has shown them the real business costs of just a single MRI missile accident. It’s not ferromagnetic detection that’s expensive, it’s the accidents that they help prevent!

Yes, every business must balance their books and money doesn’t materialize in the bank account simply because there is a need. But when substantial help with MRI safety for patients and staff is so cost-effective as compared to projectile accidents, and the ROI requires only grade school math, why wouldn’t every MRI provider provide ferromagnetic detection screening for patients, staff and equipment?

So here’s your call to action… if you haven’t already done so, finagle ferromagnetic detection into this year’s budgetary priorities. Avoid the unplanned $40,000+ ‘hit’ with a fiscally-wise, planned deployment of a ferromagnetic screening system.

Tobias Gilk, President & MRI Safety Director
Mednovus, Inc.

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