City benefits from permanent MRI lab

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July 16, 2015 8:15 AM

Lloydminster and area residents will see increased convenience in getting routine MRI scans after an MRI unit has been designated to a permanent location at the Lloydminster Medical Imaging Clinic. Located at 4121 70 Ave., the stationary clinic will reduce wait times, offer better privacy for patients and also give better access to parking.

“I’m just really happy that we can improve the patient experience for MRIs and that’s basically what Alberta Health Services and Saskatchewan Health have been working towards, just providing a better service for them,” said Cheryl Mitchell, regional director of medical imaging services, Prairie North Health Region (PNHR).

Mitchell says the two major headaches involving the mobile unit were that it only came to town once every five weeks and the fact that it was in a trailer made it chilly to get scans in the winter months. Accessing the unit involved going through an airport style tunnel from the waiting room to the trailer, which was unheated and was an unnecessary annoyance for patients.

Now people seeking MRI scans will have a nice private and modern clinic with added privacy.

“So in the winter especially they’re going to really notice that its a better service,” she said. “It’s going to improve their patient access for the non-urgent MRI scans. It will reduce wait times and it’ll be a service that’s more convenient for them in that they can pick different days of the week instead of one week out of five.”

The mobile service has been used in Lloydminster for around seven years and before that, patients had to travel to either Saskatoon or Edmonton to get their scans, which is still the case for urgent scans. The present wait list for non-urgent or elective scans is 52 weeks.

PNHR and Alberta Health Services worked as a team to bring this new permanent service to the city and Mitchell says they feel the collaboration is running smoothly. The two entities work together in an effort to bring “seamless” service to Lloydminster residents and this is one example of that team mentality paying off.

“I’m just really happy that we can improve the patient experience for MRIs and that’s basically what Alberta Health Services and Saskatchewan Health (have)been working towards. Just providing a better service for them,” she said.

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