Multichannel 1.5T Magnetic Resonance Systems: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
As providers seek to leverage this modality, they look to their medical equipment vendors to improve the software functionality, image quality, patient comfort and ease of use. For now, though, what positive and negative results are providers experiencing? What are the quantifiable benefits they have found? What missing functionality, if any, are users reporting?
Positive and Negative ResultsWhen providers commented on their MR systems, 66% of the comments were positive. However, when the comments were organized by vendor, the percentage of positive comments ranged widely - from 43% for one vendor to 81% for another.
The areas receiving the highest percentage of positive comments overall were return on investment/cost (89% positive) and relationship (83% positive). Conversely, of those who commented on sales and contracting issues, 100% reported negative experiences (see Figure 1 next page). It should be noted, however, that two vendors received no provider comments concerning sales or contracting issues, and overall comments on this area were few in number. However, it is notable that of those who commented, no respondents reported a positive experience.
Quantifiable BenefitsWhen providers were asked about quantifiable benefits, they indicated that image quality (52%) followed by productivity/throughput (41%) were the two most common quantifiable benefits that they have realized thus far (Figure 2).
Other benefits providers mentioned were functionality/technology (21%), system speed (21%) and patient comfort (18%). Unfortunately, 8% of respondents who commented on quantifiable benefits said they had received no benefits from their MR system.
Missing FunctionalityWhen asked about missing functionality, 40% of healthcare providers indicated that no functionality was missing from their MR system. However, 33% of respondents reported dissatisfaction with their software or hardware (issues such as major hardware changes, outdated software and glitches), and 18% wished for better image quality.
Patient comfort and usability/ease of use were mentioned as less than desirable by 11% of respondents (Figure 3). All systems were full-field closed MR systems.
SummaryIn summary, while the overall majority of providers expressed positive experiences with their vendor, when the comments are organized by vendor, the percentage of positive comments range widely - from 43% for one vendor to 81% for another. In addition, while many providers report benefits such as image quality and improved productivity/throughput, some also have expressed dissatisfaction with software or hardware functionality, among other issues.
If one takes a buyer beware approach, it is highly possible to find a multichannel system that is right for a particular organization. Specifically, providers suggest that decision makers check system functionality, vendor service and workflow prior to making a selection.
KLAS , founded in 1996, is the only research and consulting firm specializing in monitoring and reporting the performance of healthcare's information technology ( HIT ) vendors and products. Our senior management staff and advisory board average 25 years of healthcare information technology experience.
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with thousands of healthcare executives, CIO s, directors, managers
and clinicians, has created a dynamic database of information about
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over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 clinics on more than 500 different
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About the Author(s)
Jeremy Bikman is the vice-president of strategic research for KLAS, Orem, Utah.
Stacilee Whiting is the manager of corporate publishing for KLAS, Orem, Utah.
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