Eastern Health implementing new priority system for MRI treatments
Dr. Oscar Howell, vice-president of medical services and diagnostic health for Eastern Health, and Vickie Kaminski, President and CEO of Eastern Health, address members of the media today in St. John's. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
An internal review by Eastern Health has identified 11 people who immediately required magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations.
The review looked at 330 requests for urgent MRIs received by Eastern Health up to Jan. 16. According to the regional health authority, all 11 patients have since received MRIs.
The internal review was conducted after a patient made her concerns public earlier this year regarding the wait time for her MRI exam. She was initially scheduled to have an MRI in June, but has since received the MRI.
“The wait time for that particular individual was not acceptable considering the individual circumstances,” said Vickie Kaminski, President and CEO of Eastern Health. “As such, it became clear that we had to look at our wait times and how we prioritize MRI exams to ensure the most urgent patients are seen within an appropriate timeframe.”
Priority one cases are considered urgent and should take 0-14 days to receive an MRI. Because of the review, Eastern Health is now looking to implement a new priority classification system involving four levels.
The system has already been endorsed by physicians working for Eastern Health and is expected to be implemented by the time a third MRI unit is installed in St. John’s at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital.
Dr. Oscar Howell, vice-president of medical services and diagnostic health for Eastern Health, said it expects to have the MRI operational in May.
For more on this story, read Friday’s edition of The Telegram.