MRI spe­cial­ists to re­ceive re­sults of new safety cre­den­tial­ing test

Modern Healthcare - - THE WEEK AHEAD - —Sabriya Rice

Nearly 160 med­i­cal spe­cial­ists who fre­quently use mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing equip­ment will know by mid-July how they per­formed on the de­but ver­sion of a cre­den­tial­ing test eval­u­at­ing knowl­edge of MRI safety.

The Amer­i­can Board of Mag­netic Res­o­nance Safety ini­ti­ated the test­ing as a way of en­sur­ing MRI com­pe­tency among front­line users. Haz­ards as­so­ci­ated with imag­ing tech­nol­ogy in­clude pa­tients get­ting burned when sur­gi­cal sta­ples over­heat, al­ler­gic re­ac­tions to con­trast so­lu­tion, and in­juries from ob­jects get­ting sucked into the ma­chine’s mag­netic field at high speeds, pro­duc­ing a “mis­sile ef­fect.” The new cre­den­tial­ing test ad­dresses these types of safety over­sights.

“Most peo­ple’s knowl­edge of MRI safety is kind of a patch­work,” said To­bias Gilk, a ra­di­ol­ogy and MRI con­sul­tant who serves on the group’s board of di­rec­tors. “Our goal is to set some sort of thresh­old and to iden­tify where peo­ple are un­der­per­form­ing.”

Ra­di­ol­o­gists, MRI tech­nol­o­gists and med­i­cal physi­cists from 29 states, Canada and Qatar took the test last week in Las Ve­gas. They were eval­u­ated on their knowl­edge of is­sues such as mag­netic at­trac­tions, med­i­cal screen­ing of pa­tients and le­gal and reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments.

The board plans to pub­lish ag­gre­gate in­for­ma­tion about trends in exam per­for­mance, which could in­di­cate which ar­eas of MRI safety are most prob­lem­atic and for which spe­cial­ists.

The safety group will re-ad­min­is­ter the ex­am­i­na­tion this Oc­to­ber in Or­lando, Fla. It also will de­but another cre­den­tial­ing test geared more specif­i­cally to med­i­cal physi­cists. The cre­den­tial­ing exam is sched­uled to be ad­min­is­tered elec­tron­i­cally as early as 2017.

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