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RI Hospital One of Only ERs in US To Offer MRI Scans

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Emergency room visits at RI Hospital will be expedited by the addition of an MRI unit.

Rhode Island Hospital is expanding its emergency department (ED) services with the addition of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit. Bringing this technology directly into the emergency department will significantly expedite diagnosis and treatment and ensure more efficient and effective patient care.

In doing this, Rhode Island Hospital becomes one of just a few hospitals in the country, and the first in New England, to make MRI available in the emergency department. 

“Patients are often at their most vulnerable when they visit the emergency department,” said Brian J. Zink, M.D., chief of the department of emergency medicine at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals. “The faster we can obtain information about a serious illness or injury, the faster we can intervene and treat the problem. The new MRI in the ED gives us advanced technology to deliver the highest quality care for selected conditions like stroke, spinal injuries, and deep body infections.”

The benefits of an MRI in the ER

Prior to the launch of this unit, emergency department patients requiring an MRI had to be taken through the hospital to the Grosvenor building, often requiring travel through high-volume patient areas. Having an MRI in the emergency department not only improves efficiency, but also safety as it allows patients to remain in the emergency department for all diagnostic imaging.

“The emergency department at Rhode Island Hospital is essentially a hospital within a hospital,” said John Cronan, M.D., chief of the department of diagnostic imaging at Rhode Island Hospital. “Any diagnostic imaging test that a patient needs while in our emergency department – X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI – it can all be done right there in the ER. We are among the first in the country to bring this sophisticated technology to the emergency room patient, ensuring a timely diagnosis and safe, expedited treatment.”

MRI can be used to detect tumors, bleeding, injury, blood vessel diseases or infection. It also can be used to collect more information about something that was seen on an X-ray, ultrasound or CT scan.  It uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to create pictures of organs and structures inside the body, and may show problems inside the body that cannot be seen with other imaging methods.


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