By Caitie Lehman
Reducing wait times for diagnostic testing in our community is very important – without this first step, people cannot get the treatments they need in a timely manner. Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH) is working hard to reduce wait times for our community.
Because of the generous donations from our community that made it possible to upgrade our 13-year-old MRI magnet, we have access to the latest technology which helps improve patient diagnostics and leads to shorter appointments.
This upgrade has certainly helped us improve our wait times, however, to provide continuous service during construction, we used a mobile MRI unit, and expanded our operating hours. Because of these efforts, MSH has the lowest MRI wait times in the region, reduced by more than half with 90 per cent of patients being tested within the target time.
To keep wait times down going forward, MSH will continue to offer expanded hours for MRI testing with one unit running 24/7, and the other operating 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
One other aspect of keeping wait times down for patients is to ensure that every single appointment is used. MSH is now using an automated notification system that reminds people of their upcoming appointment and lets them reschedule if needed. This means that another patient can use their original appointment and no time goes unused.
Along with all of these positive improvements, MSH has launched PocketHealth – an online patient portal for all diagnostic images. Within hours of a test report, patients can access their images and share them with healthcare professionals wherever they are. This means that they no longer need to come back to the hospital to pick up a CD days after their appointment.
It’s all about improving the patient experience and ensuring they get the quality care they need close to home.
To learn more about MSH’s diagnostic services: www.msh.on.ca/clinics-departments/diagnostic-services
Photo: Patient in mobile MRI.