Quote from abbaking
I believe that the MRI safety Sentinel Event Alert, for example was bogus to begin with. Joint Commission with a task force and recomendation all about MRI safety? Come on - What about safety instructions from the machines manufacturer. Personally, I think Jont Commision should focus more on the realities of healthcare and not the isolated RARE incidents that the news media (and JCAHO) sensationalize.
Having already stipulated to the fact that there aren't enormous numbers of MRI patient injuries, I would also say that the numbers of close-call and minor-injury events is far from rare. Here's a blog post identifying a few of the most egregious MRI accidents from the first 3/4 of 2009, as reported to the FDA (Can We Still Call Them MRI Metal Detector Blog
It should be noted that most MRI accidents occur because the machine is working properly (generating massive magnetic fields and washing patients in large amounts of RF energy). As long as the device is working as designed and approved by the FDA, as a medical device contemporary law provides some very substantial protections to the manufacturer of the MRI. As such any standards that the manufacturers wish to put forward are (a) voluntary on their part, and (b) without any means of enforcement.
It is estimated that thousands, perhaps 10's of thousands, of MRI accidents and near-misses occur annually in the US. The vast, VAST, majority of these are 'pilot error' which could be avoided had someone, anyone, required that industry best practices be followed. For all the regulation, licensure and accreditation oversight for ionizing
radiation modalities, there has not been a single physical environment safety requirement for MRI at any level. It is only by grace or luck that we've failed to seriously injure more people, though the trends suggest that 'injuring more people' is the direction MRI is currently headed ( MRI Metal Detector Blog
I won't dispute that a 95% handwashing rate, as an example, would do more to save lives than an MRI Sentinel Event Alert, but through just a handful of changes to MRI safety, bringing contemporary expectations in-line with best practices, we could virtually exterminate some of the most common forms of MRI injury.