UK joins the USA and Australia with introduction of MRI safety accreditations to safeguard users and deliver higher standard of imaging patient care

Almost 200 radiologists, radiographers and medical physicists have recently attended the first European MRI Safety Matters® training seminar. The 2-day event, held in London and sponsored by Canon Medical Systems UK, was a platform to call for greater collaboration between industry and healthcare, and for a standardised approach to MRI user and patient safety. It was delivered by the internationally renowned MRSO/MRMD safety luminary Dr. Emanuel Kanal.

At the event there was overwhelming support from delegates to bring MRI safety standardisation and certification to Europe, with many delegates surprised that there is not a regulated minimum MRI safety standard nor standardised mandatory training already in place in the UK. Topics covered during the event included: understanding static magnetic fields; time varying RF and Gradient fields; focal power deposition, auditory concerns; neurostimulation; implant and foreign body safety assessments; and overall peer-to-peer best practice discussions on all aspects of MRI safety.

In a European first, the event was followed by UK relevant examinations leading to MR Safety certification, administered by The American Board of MR Safety (ABMRS). Radiographers, Physicists and Radiologists sat the exam and, if successful, will be the first UK MRI cohort to obtain an accreditation for MRI safety. These individuals are expected to influence and shape the safety culture of the UK MRI industry by embracing the certification.

Barbara Nugent, Founder of MRI Safety Matters®, MRI safety specialist and MRI & CT Radiographer states, “The busier MRI modalities are becoming for frontline imaging care, the more accidents there are. Yet despite every incident being preventable, there is still no standardised MRI safety training or safety certification mandated for or even available for MRI staff. A big challenge is the disparity in the reporting of accidents which hampers learning. Whilst many healthcare organisations are great at ensuring safety practices and policies, there is nothing guiding a mandatory safety framework and so it remains a grey area in terms of managing radiology workforces. We were delighted with the positive feedback this year and look forward to championing more safety certifications and discussions at next year’s event.”

“When we launched our latest MRI system, the Vantage Orian, into the UK last year, we reviewed our commitment to the duty of care delivered to the MRI imaging community,” states Vanessa Ellis, MR Modality Manager at Canon Medical Systems UK. “In addition to delivering high productivity and enhanced clinical confidence, its design is also about the safety of people operating and maintaining the systems, and of course, the patients being examined. MRI safety is of the utmost importance in all healthcare organisations and we strongly support the aims of the MRI Safety Matters team and the roll out of a standardised UK safety standard.”

Photo caption: Almost 200 radiologists, radiographers and medical physicists have recently attended the first European MRI Safety Matters® training seminar sponsored by Canon Medical Systems UK.