Memorial MRI and Diagnostic’s COO Todd Greene starred in a recent Aunt Minnie webinar, detailing the role MRI accessibility plays in the Texas imaging group’s strategy, and sharing some very relevant takeaways for imaging providers and vendors.
Founded in 2001, Memorial MRI and Diagnostic (MMD) operates 16 imaging centers across Texas, including eight in greater Houston and eight Dallas-area locations added through its 2021 acquisition of Prime Diagnostic Imaging.
- MMD’s strategy focuses on integrating its imaging centers within their local communities, making patient access and referring physician relationships particularly important.
In addition to proximity to patients, MMD’s MRI accessibility strategy historically focused on maintaining a fleet of open bore 1.5T MRI scanners to accommodate larger and claustrophobic patients.
- This is especially important given that many of MMD’s patients are “Texas sized” or don’t realize they’re claustrophobic until the scan begins.
That strategy started to change when MMD installed United Imaging’s 3T uMR OMEGA ultra-wide-bore (75 cm), allowing it to scan larger and claustrophobia-prone patients (plus all other patients) without open MRIs’ scan speed and image quality tradeoffs.
- The uMR OMEGA was MMD’s first 3T MRI at any of MMD’s imaging centers, although Greene expects its patient and referrer-friendly advantages to drive a continued shift towards wide-bore 3T MRI systems.
Greene also detailed Memorial MRI’s alliance with United Imaging (the webinar’s sponsor), specifically highlighting the scalability of UIH’s “Software for Life” (scanners automatically updated with future software) and “All-In” (scanners include all possible features/packages) policies.
As the webinar wrapped up, Greene warned imaging centers not to blindly rely on what has worked in the past, predicting that “ease of access is what is going to shape the future of healthcare.”
We get plenty of insights from the medical center side of radiology, but it’s still rare to hear from imaging center chains. That makes MDD’s insights particularly useful for the many regional imaging providers who’d like to improve MRI accessibility (without open MRI’s tradeoffs) and for MRI OEMs looking to drive 3T MRI adoption in an imaging provider segment that historically favored 1.5T systems.