A range of service improvements have been implemented by the Royal Group of Hospitals HSS Trust to reduce waiting times for MRI scans at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The current MRI scanner is operated for 49 hours each week; nine of these are evening sessions funded by the Eastern Health and Social Services Board as part of a waiting list initiative. Since April 2006 an additional eight hours have been resourced to facilitate access to emergency scanning at weekends.
A computerised information system has been introduced to optimise management of the waiting list. This includes patient validation, data cleansing and regular monitoring. A partial booking system has also been implemented with an associated reduction in ‘Did Not Attend’ rates to 1 per cent.
A second MRI scanner has been procured for the new Imaging Centre at the Royal and is likely to become operational in spring 2007. This will have the potential to double current activity.