Having to undergo an MRI Scan at a hospital can be very scary for someone who is not knowledgeable about hospital safety, or the rules and regulations which hospitals must follow. Thankfully, there are a couple of easy methods for you to check, to ensure that your hospital or imaging center is at least hitting the minimum requirements.
The Internet is Your Friend
For one thing, you want to make sure that the hospital is a reputable source. Look online for awards that the hospital may have won, from reputable publications, such as US News and World Report. These would indicate that experts have agreed that the hospital is a good source for medical advice. But not every good hospital has won awards. Many small towns don’t have the public relations teams necessary to get those awards. So you cannot just judge a hospital on that basis alone.
Medical Records Speak Volume
A second way is to see how hospitals treat your medical records. Understanding how employees of a hospital have access to your medical records will give you a better knowledge towards whether the hospital respects your privacy. Only those with needs for seeing your medical records should be recording their notes within them, or reading the medical records in the first place. It’s similar to an office’s rules for access to medical records. If you think that this is the method you’re looking for when trying to pick a hospital, be sure to take a training course for access to medical records. It will provide you with the knowledge you need to understand it, and then you can ask the doctors and see if they’re able to repeat what you’ve just learned!
Finally, you should inspect the MR Suite itself. A respectable MR Suite will be completely clean and sterilized. There should not be trash around, and only authorized personnel should be within the MR Suite. Check to see that zones are properly marked around the MR Scanner – this is a good sign that the imaging center / hospital will be paying attention to the regulatory rules for MRI Machines. There are four zones surrounding the MRI Machine. Zone 1 is accessible to the general public, and contains all areas outside the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine’s field. Zone two is also typically free of the MRI machine’s magnetic field, but here the general public is under the watch of trained personnel. To enter zone three, where there is increased danger, personnel should have watched an MRI Safety video, and patients should have filled out a medical questionnaire. Zone 4 is within the suite itself, and is highly hazardous. Avoid bringing any metallic objects into zone 3 or 4.
If you see the zones clearly marked, you’re most likely in a safe place. Be sure to talk to your imaging experts to ensure that they comply with all the necessary regulations, and stay safe out there!