Improving MRI Efficiency using a Lean process

What does car manufacturing have to do with efficient and timely patient care? Lean manufacturing was developed by Toyota in the 1930's to more efficiently and consistently manufacture cars. Jennifer Catton, Senior Manager, Strategy and Quality at the Joint Department of medical imaging explains how thinking from lean manufacturing are relevant almost 90 years later in the MR suite.

In this video, Jennifer takes us through the four principles of a Lean methodology process, common issues leading to reduced MRI utilization and the best practices to address common issues. Her strategies and examples are simple to follow to enhance your day-to-day MRI experience and of your patients too.

Optimizing utilization using lean

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The Lean methodology process is comprised of 4 principles:

  • Flow
  • Tight Connections
  • Transparency
  • Standard work

Jennifer discusses her case study of the MRI Process Improvement Project which was implemented in 57 sites across Ontario starting back in 2009. The objective of this project using the Lean approach was to improve utilization of resources by increasing efficiency, ensuring consistency in wait times by priority and creating a commitment to continuous improvement among staff in MRI facilities

The effort added the equivalent of $7 million per year in operating hours (just from existing resources). The improvements came in the form of additional time slots to MRI schedules across Ontario. Most sites decreased wait times (some as up to as much as 89%), increased volumes and increased equipment utilization. Would you like to see those kind of results at your site too?

Lean is a quality improvement methodology for making substantial, lasting changes in performance and focuses on maximizing customer/patient value while minimizing waste. That means, creating more value with less effort.

This process aims to engage the people who are a part of the work every day to continually strive and seek improvement. We know that from a patient perspective, the biggest value is the speed at which they move through the booking, scanning and receiving results process.

In detail, Jennifer takes us through the common wastes in the health care system that can help spark thoughts of where big and little efficiencies are lost and lead to improvement.

RI028 [EN] 2 MRI Throughput Jennifer Catton image_Bottom half-PF


If you enjoyed this video and would like to improve MRI Throughput at your site, please reach out to your local Bayer representative who can help to provide even more tools and resources on this topic.