Riverwood Healthcare Center introduces state-of-the-art MRI machine

Since magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning technology was first introduced in hospitals in the 1980s, the speed of the scans and image quality has continued to improve significantly to greatly enhance the patient experience and diagnosis of medical conditions.

Today advanced MRI technology in the form of a new Siemens Sola MRI machine with Deep Resolve Boost technology can be found at Riverwood Healthcare Center. This state-of-the-art MRI, which went into use with Riverwood patients during the first week in August, offers shorter scan times for patients, higher image quality to support diagnostic accuracy, and a larger opening than our previous scanner to help claustrophobic patients.

For example, a shoulder scan now completes in approximately 6 vs. 27 minutes, a knee scan in 7 vs. 24 minutes, and a lumbar scan in 8 vs. 27 minutes. Only a few body parts, such as the abdominal area, are not scannable in shorter times with the new machine.

Improved lighting also helps enhance the patient’s experience. Riverwood’s MRI suite now features a brighter look and soothing nature images on the wall sconces. Upgraded LED lights on the scanner also promote relaxation for patients. In addition, the room’s lighting can be adjusted and dimmed for greater patient comfort.

“I haven’t seen a huge MRI technology improvement like this since the late 1990s,” comments Jason Ahrens, MRI tech with Central Minnesota Diagnostic Imaging who operates the MRI machine at Riverwood. “The outcome of using this more sophisticated technology is fewer rescans, high quality personalized exams, and increased scheduling productivity given the shorter scan times.”

Typically, 115 patients undergo MRI scans at Riverwood’s radiology department monthly. With the new MRI’s faster scanning speed, the capacity to schedule more patients is anticipated to grow significantly. Riverwood has been offering permanent, on-site MRI diagnostic imaging since 2009 when it opened its new MRI suite addition to its radiology department.

Riverwood CEO Ken Westman adds: “Riverwood is committed to providing innovative imaging solutions to enhance patient care in the communities we serve. We know patients will appreciate the new MRI machine’s patient-friendly features and faster scan times.”

Riverwood partners with a progressive group of radiologists, Regional Diagnostic Radiology (RDR), who offer extensive diagnostic and minimally invasive radiology procedures.