Kingston Health Sciences Centre officially opens second MRI

News / General
By Meaghan Quinn

Second MRI machine to help improve patient flow and wait times

Following months of work at the Kingston General Hospital site of Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), construction for a second MRI scanner and a new MRI suite has been completed.

“The opening of this second MRI is an exciting moment for the patients and families in our Southeastern Ontario region,” says Troy Jones, Chief Operating Officer at KHSC. “This has been an initiative that we first broke ground on in July 2018 and has required a significant amount of work, collaboration and support from staff at KHSC, our partners across the region and our community.”

At any one time in our region, 850 to 1,000 people are waiting to be booked for a hospital MRI. The installation of a second MRI will help shorten wait times for patients waiting for complex MRI studies that are required for diagnosis and treatment planning.

“We are thrilled about moving forward with this initiative which will dramatically shorten wait times for patients waiting for complex MRI studies required for diagnosis and treatment planning,” says Karen Pearson, Director of Imaging Services at KHSC. “A second MRI scanner will be a huge help in our ability to continue to offer outstanding patient care.”

In preparation for the second MRI scanner, construction included the creation of a new MRI suite. The new space includes a large, bright and airy area for patients to wait in before their scan on the new MRI machine. Looking out over Lake Ontario, the hope is that this area will be a calming and relaxing space in an otherwise busy department.

“MRI scans are in confined spaces which can make some patients nervous and it’s our hope that being able to have a beautiful open area for patients to wait in beforehand will help them feel less anxious and make the process of having a scan easier for them,” says Kelly Hubbard, manager of Imaging Services. “It’s a gorgeous space when you see how much glass there is going to be, patients will feel like they’re sitting on a deck at the edge of King Street.”

The construction for the second MRI and new MRI suite was an almost year-long process which required careful planning and collaboration with staff in the existing MRI space, adjacent departments and close attention to detail by the Planning Office at KHSC.

“The success of this project is a huge testament to the staff and teams all across KHSC who helped ensure we still delivered outstanding patient care through a very busy and complex construction period,” says Pearson. “We’re thrilled to be at the tail end of this project and have a beautiful space, new technology and second scanner for our patients from all across our Southeastern Ontario region to benefit from.”

The purchase and installation of the second MRI scanner is a result of a strategic investment by Kingston Health Sciences Centre as well as from a campaign by the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation that received significant community support, including a $3 million donation from Britt Smith and Homestead Landholdings and significant support by the radiologists of KHSC.

To view a full photo album of the grand opening event, please click here