Quick MRI Scans and Image Quality: Time Matters

Given the choice, most patients would prefer a quick MRI scan with high-quality results. Who has the time to spend all day in a scanner bore? Of course, a full-body scan will take longer than an MRI of the wrist, but generally, shorter is better in terms of patient comfort.

In fact, patients who spend less time in the imaging suite may end up with better scans, too. It’s counterintuitive, but it’s true. Why? Because of common MRI flaws called motion artifacts.

The Costs of Patient Movement During MRI Scans

Motion artifacts are just what they sound like. When a patient moves during the course of the scan, it can degrade images, sometimes to the point where they are no longer useful for diagnosis. This slows down the patient’s entire care plan. It even contributes to the high price of medical care in the U.S. (Of course, you don’t have to pay a fortune for diagnostic imaging services, as we’ve discussed elsewhere in this blog.)

How much does patient movement add to health care spending? A study out of the University of Washington, Seattle, offers a detailed estimate. According to the report, motion artifacts create yearly costs of around $115,000 per scanner.

Jalal Andre, MD, and his colleagues conclude that the elimination of motion artifacts will improve diagnostic imaging in a variety of ways.

“The results of this study suggest that the goal of reducing motion artifacts, and the related image degradation, represents an opportunity to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve imaging services,” they wrote.

Reducing Patient Movement During an MRI Scan

Motion-reduction software in MRI systems can help to solve the problem of motion artifacts, but a quicker, cheaper fix would be to simply keep patients still during the scan. The best way to do this is to make scans as efficient as possible.

The less time a patient spends in the bore, after all, the fewer opportunities they have to move. That’s why a quick scan is usually a better scan. Of course, it’s just the scan itself that should move as quickly as possible. Patient care before and after imaging procedures requires close, personal attention, and BestPriceMRI.com staff takes the time to answer any and all questions a patient may have, at any point during the procedure.

When it comes time to activate the MRI scanner, though, our technicians move efficiently through the procedure, ensuring that patients can be in and out of the imaging suite as quickly as possible. It just so happens that quick MRI scans also helps to eliminate motion artifacts in scans themselves, leading to higher-quality images, and better radiology reports overall.

Call BestPriceMRI.com at 888-322-7785 to schedule your MRI scan or any other imaging procedure today.

Posted in MRI