MRI has made impressive contributions to the medical imaging field, especially neuroimaging exams. As these machines are largely ingrained into the modern world of diagnosing and treating internal health problems, healthcare staff have no doubt discovered the consequences of unfortunate MRI malfunctions. With Primex OneVue Sense ChillCheck, automated sensors will monitor the flow and temperature of your MRI chillers and monitor the ambient air temperature of your equipment room, which can prevent costly MRI downtime.
Why MRI Chillers Are Essential
From the ambient temperature of the equipment room to the internal temperatures of the machines themselves, there are several components of MRI scanner operation for which a frigid environment is essential. For example, the magnets that give magnetic resonance imaging its name are actually conductive magnetic coils, which need to be kept at approximately -454 °F (-270 °C) for the scanners to function.
MRI scanners require liquid coolant, provided by MRI chillers, for two main purposes:
- To regulate the cold head, which manages the liquid helium that keeps the magnet supercooled
- To help cool the gradients that generate heat during scans
These MRI chillers can have several unexpected issues which compromise their liquid coolant output, like high temperatures and insufficient flow. Temperature problems can be caused by things like compressor issues, corroded cooling coils, and belt damage, and low flow could be caused by a leak, pump damage, or soiled, blocked, or looped pipes.
Each make and model of MRI has guidelines for the optimal flow and temperature that your MRI chiller should provide to the other MRI components. Some MRI installations include flow monitors or heating, ventilating, and air conditioning controls in the equipment room, but it’s rare that remote monitoring is offered in a simple, noninvasive, and cost-effective way. Therefore, when something goes wrong with your MRI chiller, and the next maintenance appointment is several months away, you could be facing unexpected downtime and an urgent call to your MRI chiller maintenance expert.
What Happens When MRI Scanners Go Down?
MRI downtime means scans are delayed, which can subsequently impede diagnosis and treatment. This delay can cause a domino effect, wherein appointments are lost, schedules have to be rearranged, and patients and radiologists have to wait for results. These missed appointments result in patients losing precious treatment time, and when patients don’t get the assessments necessary to begin or continue their treatment, it can be problematic for not only their health, but also their satisfaction. If satisfaction declines, so might the amount of monetary reimbursement that facilities receive from Medicare, as 30% of their reimbursement relies on patient feedback survey results.
As such, patients aren’t the only victims of scanner downtime; one-third of radiologists rate system continuity and functionality as their highest priority regarding the main dimensions of their imaging systems, beating out user interface and system performance — outlining just how important a functioning scanner is to healthcare staff. When the MRI machine is down, they aren’t able to do their job properly, which wastes their time and their skills. Not to mention monetary loss, as imaging can account for up to 37% of hospital profitability. In order to avoid all-around dissatisfaction, as well as lost time and revenue, consider a remote monitoring system to improve visibility into your MRI chiller’s flow and MRI equipment room’s ambient air temperature.
Avoiding MRI Downtime with Primex OneVue Sense ChillCheck
With the newest addition to the Primex OneVue Sense portfolio, ChillCheck, healthcare facilities can monitor their MRI chillers and MRI equipment rooms to ensure that their scanners continue to assist in on-time diagnoses that improve patient care. As reliable monitoring is introduced into your facility, the OneVue Sense ChillCheck solution supports a strong return on investment, preventing the facility from losing valuable time and money during costly downtime.
Remote monitoring of your MRI chillers and MRI equipment room could help your maintenance team start a differential diagnosis, so they arrive prepared to fix any issue as efficiently as possible. We know that the expensive electronics kept in the MRI equipment room are better served by controlling temperature and humidity in this rarely-visited space. ChillCheck is the connection between you and your equipment room; knowing how your equipment is faring can be essential to preventing unexpected MRI downtime.
OneVue Sense ChillCheck uses a network of sensors that report to the uniquely designed, web-based OneVue® software platform or OneVue Sense ChillCheck app to continuously monitor both the MRI chiller’s flow and temperature as well as the ambient temperature and humidity levels in the equipment rooms. Users will be notified if OneVue detects a problem, allowing for corrective action before the machines go down. On the OneVue platform, users can keep track of their MRI chiller’s flow and access precise records to ensure that machines are operating appropriately and with maximum efficiency.
With the new Primex OneVue Sense ChillCheck sensors and software, users can avoid MRI downtime caused by MRI chiller issues and better ensure their scanners are being utilized at a high level of productivity so financial profit and patient satisfaction remain high.