Making MRI a Relaxing, Spa-Like Experience

Imaging MRI Caring Suite 2 

Getting an MRI often causes anxiety for patients. At the new “Caring Suite” at Outpatient Imaging on Executive Park Boulevard, patients select videos, soothing music and ambient lighting to instantly personalize their experience. The Caring MR Suite is the first of its kind in Winston-Salem and part of our ongoing commitment to patient- and family-centered care.

While the typical setting for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can be sterile and cold, the Caring MR Suite atmosphere is focused on patient comfort and relaxation. Before the exam begins, patients choose audio and visual preferences from one of 18 nature themes, like aquarium, waterfall, coastal or mountain scenery. Selections are made on an iPad with the help of a technologist. A large display monitor mounted on the ceiling above the patient table projects the imagery, which is paired with soft, colored lighting and peaceful background music throughout the scan.

Being comfortable is critical since an MRI requires patients to be calm and physically still. The scanning process can be lengthy, sometimes up to one hour or longer, depending on the nature of the exam.

In addition to the Caring Suite experience, a new MRI scanner at Outpatient Imaging offers:

  • A four-inch wider opening for increased patient comfort
  • Larger table weight limit of 550 pounds vs. previous 350 pounds
  • Shorter tunnel so exams can be performed feet first, with the patient’s head remaining outside the machine for many exams
  • Quieter and shorter scans

The new MRI unit also results in “crisper,” high-resolution quality imaging with enhanced performance detail. The refined technology allows Outpatient Imaging to perform additional services not previously offered, including imaging of small body parts like the wrist and hand.

Response to the Caring MR Suite has been positive, with patients saying the atmosphere is inviting and they feel more at ease during the exam.