Not All MRIs Are Created Equal: 3 Tips for Choosing the Right Clinic

It’s a misconception that all private MRI services are the same. When considering where to have an MRI, a number of factors have the potential to influence the diagnostic confidence of the scan.

1.     What type of technology (software and hardware) is the clinic using? Do they upgrade regularly?

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Some clinics are stuck with out of date technology because the magnet they use isn’t “upgradable,” meaning its critical parts cannot be swapped out for parts current with the continued advances in MRI technology.  The same can be said about advances in the software driving the capability of the machine.  At Canadian Magnetic Imaging, a private, Vancouver-based MRI clinic, the updates to both magnet and software are done routinely in order to optimize the capability of our hardware and keep current with the latest in MRI advancements.

2.     Who is reading the MRI report?

Radiologists who are based at peer-reviewed teaching hospitals bring a breadth and depth of experience to their reporting.  That’s because teaching hospitals function on the cutting edge of research and technology. Says Kim Pawlak, Director of Medical Education at CMI, “Our radiologists bring this same hospital-based knowledge and experience to their reporting and also specialize in the area of the body being imaged.” 

3.     What is the design of the magnet?

A traditional MRI magnet has a long narrow bore, which can be quite intimidating for patients, and its chamber is limited in the size of patient that it can accommodate.  In the new generation of MRI magnets, referred to as “open bore” or “wide bore” technology, additional height and width are available in the chamber around the patient. A wide bore gives more headroom, legroom, elbowroom and overall comfort, and can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety or claustrophobia. Patients with back pain can even bend their knees during an examination. This type of MRI is big enough to accommodate patients weighing up to 550 pounds. 

For any questions about choosing an MRI clinic, visit Canadian Magnetic Imaging’s website, visit them on Facebook or Twitter, call them at 604-733-5563 or visit their location at 18 – 3195 Granville Street in Vancouver.

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