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Hospital reduces MRI wait to 15 days from 140 days

OSMH MRI teamORILLIA, Ont. – Wait times for a key diagnostic procedure have been dramatically reduced at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, officials say. Patients can now expect to wait an average of 15 days for an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which is below the current provincial average.

“At one point, our wait time was around 140 days, far above the 28-day provincial target,” said Doug Murray, executive vice-president, corporate services and chief financial officer. “The impact has been great for patients, as our wait time has decreased and continues to decrease.”

The hospital’s MRI operation has expanded from 16 hours of service, Monday through Friday, and eight hours on weekends to round-the-clock service Monday to Friday and 12 hours a day on weekends.

“We were able to make our MRI operational 24 hours a day, Monday to Friday, after securing funding from our Local Health Integration Network,” said Jeff Kerk, director of diagnostic imaging. “We have also altered our staffing model to help accommodate the new service.”

Roughly 90 percent of patients now access MRI services at Soldiers’ within the provincial wait-time average, compared with about 20 percent of patients who previously fell within the provincial average.

Photo: (Left to right) Doug Murray, executive vice-president, corporate services and chief financial officer; David McFadden, MRI technologist; Maida Jeraj, MRI charge technologist; and Jeff Kerk, director of diagnostic imaging, marked the unit’s success with a visit to the MRI machine.

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