Original Research

The Cinderellas of the scanner: Magnetic resonance imaging ‘pre-scan’ and ‘post-scan’ times: Their determinants and impact on patient throughput

Marthinus B. van Rooyen, Richard D. Pitcher
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 24, No 1 | a1946 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v24i1.1946 | © 2020 Marthinus B. van Rooyen, Richard D. Pitcher | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 July 2020 | Published: 01 December 2020

About the author(s)

Marthinus B. van Rooyen, Division of Radiodiagnosis, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Richard D. Pitcher, Division of Radiodiagnosis, Department of Medical Imaging and Clinical Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Background: Increasing demand for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has contributed to extended patient waiting times worldwide. This is particularly true in resource-limited environments, prompting this institutional workflow analysis.

Objective: To determine the ‘pre-’ and ‘post-scan’ times for normal-hour MRI studies conducted at a tertiary-level, public-sector South African hospital and to assess any association with demographic details, patient characteristics, anatomical site and scan parameters. A secondary objective was determination of the average daily MR ‘down’ time.

Methods: A prospective descriptive study stratifying MRI workflow into ‘pre-scan’, ‘scan’, ‘post-scan’ and ‘down’ times. During ‘pre-‘ and ‘post-scan’ times patients occupied the scanner whilst staff performed tasks indirectly contributing to image acquisition. During ‘down’ time no patient occupied the MRI room. ‘Pre-’ and ‘post-scan’ times were compared with demographic details, patient characteristics, anatomical site and study parameters, utilising correlation analysis or analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Results: A total of 223 patients (n = 223) underwent 286 investigations in the 23-day review period. Seventy per cent of routine working time was utilised in image acquisition. The ‘pre-’ and ‘post-scan’ times together accounted for 19% and ‘down’ time for 11% of working time. Prolonged ‘pre-’ and ‘post-scan’ times were independently associated with age less than 12 years, anaesthesia, sedation and immobility (p < 0.01 in all cases). The longest median combined ‘pre-’ and ‘post-scan’ time by anatomical site (cholangiopancreatography, 21:46 min) was more than six times the shortest (pituitary fossa, 3:11 min).

Conclusion: A critical analysis of magnetic resonance ‘pre-’ and ‘post-scan’ times can provide valuable insights into opportunities for enhanced service efficiency.


Keywords

imaging workflow; magnetic resonance imaging; determinants; service efficiency; ANOVA.

Metrics

Total abstract views: 534
Total article views: 381


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.