that having an MRI can be stressful for patients, Wake Forest Baptist Outpatient Imaging has opened
a new space with custom features designed to promote relaxation and reduce
In the new
MRI suite at the facility on Executive Park Boulevard, patients are able to
select videos, soothing music and ambient lighting to personalize their
experience. The suite, which opened late last year, is the first of its kind in
Winston-Salem and is available to all individuals for whom physicians have
ordered MRIs, not just Wake Forest
Baptist Medical Center patients.
created a warm, spa-like environment where patients can control the sights and
sounds they experience,” said administrator Jo Ellen Lucas.
setting for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is typically sterile and cold, the
new suite at Wake Forest Baptist Outpatient Imaging emphasizes patient
comfort and relaxation with a technology called Caring Suite.
exam begins, patients choose audio and visual preferences from among 18 nature
themes, such as waterfall and sea coast. A large display monitor mounted on the
ceiling above the patient table projects the imagery, which is paired with
soft, colored lighting and gentle background music throughout the scanning
our patients are claustrophobic or fearful of having an MRI, but being able to
customize these elements provides an escape and reduces stress and anxiety,”
to the ambience options, the suite contains a new MRI device with
patient-friendly features, including a wider patient table with a greater
weight capacity and a shorter tunnel so scanning can be done feet-first, with
the patient’s head remaining outside the machine for many exams.
comfort is critical in MRIs because the subject has to lie still throughout the
imaging process, which can take as long as an hour, depending on the nature of
The new MRI
unit also is quieter and faster than older devices, and it produces sharper,
more detailed images, which allows for imaging of smaller body parts such as
wrists and hands.
the Caring Suite has been positive, Lucas said, with patients saying that the
atmosphere is inviting and that they feel more at ease during the exams.
“They love the fact that they have
ownership over some aspects of their procedure,” she said. “It’s a win-win
because the patient is calmer and the technologist can focus on performing the
highest quality exam in a timely manner.”