Survey: 36% of Facilities Struggle to Meet TJC MRI Standards

A new survey found that 36% of medical resonance imaging (MRI) providers do not comply with The Joint Commission’s (TJC) standards for diagnostic imaging services, which were released in 2015.

The standards, which are in effect for hospital and ambulatory care programs, require that MRI facilities should collect data on incidents where ferromagnetic objects unintentionally entered the MRI scanner room and injuries resulting from the presence of ferromagnetic objects in the scanner room. Ferromagnetic objects, which include oxygen tanks and wheelchairs, can become dangerous when brought into an MRI room; the MRI’s strong magnetic field can pull objects at high speed toward the machine, which can lead to injuries and occasionally deaths.

Conducted by MRI safety firm Metrasens, the survey of 162 MRI professionals highlights ongoing issues with safety in those facilities.

“The Joint Commission’s Revised Requirements for Diagnostic Imaging Services state that hospitals must manage safety risks in the MRI environment, but these survey results suggest that there is still room for improvement,” said Tobias Gilk, a Metrasens consultant, in a release.

TJC’s standards also cover equipment testing and maintenance, annual education for staff, minimum qualifications for medical physicists, and managing MRI safety risks.