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 →
Alright, I don’t love the fact of being wrong, but my mission is to motivate improvements in MRI safety for patients, staff, and providers. I’m not the least bit interested in having the longest list of ‘I told you so’ moments, and I’m uncomfortable when someone applies the term ‘guru’ to me. I am openly, vocally, critical of organizations when I feel that they haven’t lived up to their obligation to reinforce MRI safety standards, so when one of them does well, I can’t tell you how happy I am to eat my prior words, and today is an example of that…
This phrase isn’t meant to make anyone feel small. It doesn’t mean “you should know,” or “everybody else knows this,” or even that “the guy writing this knows.” This phrase is very democratic… it applies to each of us (particularly the guy writing this).
What it means is that, if our brains are libraries, even big ones, there’s only so much information that can fit inside. We may know the next 10, 100 or 1,000 books we want to add to our mental Alexandria, but we can’t want (or even hate) the book that we don’t know exists. The same is true of MRI safety.