A state-of the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine just installed at Counties Manukau Health’s Middlemore Hospital is set to make life easier for the patients who use it.
The 3T (Tesla) unit, with enhanced magnetic strength completes a new $8 million two-unit MRI suite within the hospital’s Harley Gray building. The 3T- the first of its kind to be installed in a New Zealand public hospital - provides greater diagnostic capability than earlier models and therefore reduces the time patients need to spend in the scanner. Counties Manukau Health has also installed a new 1.5T model in the new suite. Another 3T model is located at Middlemore Crescent.
Clinical Director of Radiology Services at CM Health, Dr Stuart Barnard, says the addition of a third scanner will boost MRI capacity by 50 per cent and significantly reduce waiting times for patients.
“We are very pleased to be able to offer the latest in MRI technology that advances our diagnostic imaging capabilities,” says Dr Barnard.
He says the new machine, a Siemens Healthineers MAGNETOM Vida, offers higher quality examinations which can be personalised for all patients and reduce the need for re-scans.
Other features will enhance patient comfort, including a 97 per cent reduction in sound levels, and a design, within the suite, of illuminated ceiling murals of skies and trees to help patients who experience claustrophobia.
Co-locating the machines will also create efficiencies, he adds.
“Having our staff all working together in the same area makes communication easier and reduces the duplication of certain tasks, allowing a more streamlined process for our patients.”
The number of MRIs being performed at Middlemore is increasing each year by an average of 10 per cent. In the last year, CM Health has performed an average of 800 MRI scans per month and this number is expected to grow.