Sensible Solutions for Refurbished Radiology

Top 4 Considerations Before Installing an MRI

Posted by Vikki Harmonay on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 @ 09:10 AM

“I want a quote for an MRI.  I know I need a 24 ft. X 30 ft. space for one, and I’ve got it.  When can you deliver?” 

At Atlantis Worldwide, we’ve actually fielded calls like this one, usually from someone who’s new to the business.

While that can be true, we wouldn’t be true professionals if we let someone make a purchasing decision they would later regret.  Even before you decide which MRI you want, it’s important to understand what you need to consider before you install one.

To that end, here are four things to keep in mind regarding MRI installation.

1) Site planning is critical.  In most cases, the cost of the site itself can be more than the cost of the MRI—and an MRI can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars!  Sure, you need the four walls that surround an MRI system.  But the next step is to place an imaginary football around that 24 ft. X 30 ft. box.  The space will expand to the area above and below the MRI Suite.  It will go outside the walls, and probably outside the building—and what happens outside the building is critical to image quality.  Power lines, immediate traffic patterns, moving metal objects, elevators and other exterior elements could cause major issues with MRI performance.

2) Understand the RF and magnetic shielding requirements for your MRI and MRI site—and hire the right shielding professional to do the job.  Think of it this way:  not every contractor is a medical imaging construction specialist.  Likewise, every “shielding” group is not the same.  Make sure you are working with an expert in MRI shielding, or you could end up with poor images from your MRI system.  A shielding professional will know whether or not magnetic shielding or sound dampening is require in order to get ideal images.  They’ll also administer shielding tests before the design, after the completion of the room and then after the installation of the MRI.

3) Pay attention to exterior features.  For example, moving metals, whether from a nearby garage or traffic outside the building are limiting factors.  Overhead power lines or underground power can be challenging, as can running water or sewer lines above and below the magnet.  There are specific structural steel support guidelines and HVAC requirements, as well.  It’s important to research all of these issues BEFORE committing to a facility, unless you have unlimited time or funds!


4) Patient safety is key. That’s why the American College of Radiology has developed a four-zone plan for MRI facilities with patient safety in mind. This plan provides a safe environment for patients and staff, with appropriate placement of changing rooms and waiting areas.  It’s also ideal for managing diagnostic imaging workflow.

There are other things to consider before taking the leap and purchasing an MRI—but that’s another blog.  If you want help in determining whether your existing site or planned site is appropriate for an MRI, talk to an industry expert like Atlantis Worldwide.  You’ll save time, money and headaches! Contact Us Today!




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Topics: Buying Imaging Equipment, Imaging Equipment Solutions, MRI