In less than a year, patients needing an MRI at Markham Stouffville Hospital have seen a dramatic improvement in waiting times. Try a 60 per cent jump; or an average of 20 days quicker; to get an MRI at MSH down from 51 days in April 2018 to 31 days in April 2019. According to Lynne Campkin; director of diagnostic services and laboratory services at the hospital, that improvement in wait times is very important to patients.
Director of diagnostic services
“A patient’s treatment cannot start until they have a diagnosis, so quicker access to diagnostic tests where they are able to get a diagnosis advances their treatments, their therapies, their surgeries;” said Campkin. “That’s why the Ministry of Health is following MRI wait times; because they are so important as a first step before a surgeon can plan the hip replacement or the knee replacement or other treatment.”
There are several reasons why MRI wait times have improve so dramatically in just a year; said Campkin. The MRI operating hours are extend; with one of the MRIs running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with patients coming to the hospital all hours of the day and night. A second magnet is running 16 hours a day; seven days a week.
Plan the hip replacement
Campkin said that’s an increase of 1,800 operating hours in the past year. To accomplish that; MSH got a combination of funding from the Ministry of Health and find efficiencies to hire more staff. Another improvement is that the hospital develop an information management system with software that has an automatic reminder sent to patients to help them remember their
Finally, the hospital was able to upgrade one of the magnets at a cost of $1.5 million through donations coming from the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation increasing capacity. Campkin is please that MSH has the “shortest wait times in the region; with an 83% wait in meeting the provincial wait-time target of 28 days,” and with 90% of those needing an MRI getting in within 28 days.
Auto accident several
Marlene Galloway, 51, of Keswick, who went in for an MRI last week; said her wait time was much better than she expected. Galloway, who was hurt in an auto accident several years ago, said she only had a wait time of “about a week” before she went in for her MRI. And when she showed up at the hospital for the procedure, it was very smooth and took less than an hour.
“I didn’t have to wait. I walked in the door and I’ve never seen a more organized place. I stood in line for maybe two minutes. Five other people were in front of me and were seen very quickly. It literally takes 30 minutes for what I had to have be done. From the time I walked in until the time I left, it took only an hour, including the interview;” Galloway said.
Campkin added that patients will have access to software called Pocket Health that will allow them to store their images online so that when a patient needs to consult a surgeon or specialist outside MSH; they can show them their images through the software. In the past, the hospital had to burn the images on a CD that the patient would take with them.