Health Care Science and Innovation

AdventHealth receives the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award for the world’s first-ever virtual advanced MRI program

AdventHealth received the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award during the DNV Healthcare annual symposiumin Louisville, Kentucky.

AdventHealth is the first health care system in the world to develop and implement a groundbreaking virtual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) program that improves patient access, imaging quality and patient satisfaction.

AdventHealth was presented the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award during the DNV Healthcare annual symposium in Louisville, Kentucky.
AdventHealth was presented the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award during the DNV Healthcare annual symposium in Louisville, Kentucky. From left to right: AdventHealth Vice President of Imaging Services Melissa Petrasko, DNV President Kelly Proctor, AdventHealth Lead Virtual MRI Specialist Will Lee, and AdventHealth Senior Modality Manager - MRI Ann Hester.

DNV is one of the nation’s fastest-growing accrediting bodies and its Innovation of the Year award highlights some of the most ambitious and daring initiatives hospitals have undertaken to improve the quality of care. Entries are judged by a panel of veteran healthcare executives.

The Problem

As the largest health care organization in Central Florida with campuses across multiple counties, the system’s quaternary flagship campus, AdventHealth Orlando, served as the major hub for all complex imaging studies for decades. At this centralized location, highly skilled technologists could perform complicated exams, such as cardiac and pediatric MRIs.

As volumes increased exponentially, a number of inpatients each week were historically transported via ambulance to AdventHealth Orlando to receive advanced MRI exams, adding at least 24 hours to each patient’s length of stay. From an outpatient perspective, patients had to wait up to three weeks for a similar advanced study due to high demand and limited capacity.

Expanding this service to various campus locations within Central Florida wasn’t an option; with a variation of protocols, smaller sites perform these types of tests infrequently, making it difficult to keep staff trained and skilled.

All of this combined creates quality issues, requiring repeat studies for 30-40% of the advanced MRIs.

The Solution

AdventHealth implemented a virtual MRI program – the only of its kind across the globe – to bring complex MRI technology to patients and improve overall image quality.

AdventHealth received the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award during the DNV Healthcare annual symposium in Louisville, Kentucky.
AdventHealth received the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award during the DNV Healthcare annual symposium in Louisville, Kentucky.

AdventHealth initially launched the virtual MRI program across six campuses in Altamonte Springs, Apopka, Celebration, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Garden, and in November 2022, expanded this further to include AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Volusia County.

Through this program, an experienced technologist remotely collaborates with up to three scanning sites simultaneously, providing comprehensive assistance to staff and physicians regardless of their physical location. Using live audio, chat and video functions, this eliminates the need for patients to travel to the AdventHealth Orlando campus.

This has noted improvements in:

  • Operational Throughput:
    • Inpatient MRI transfers were reduced by 94% across the AdventHealth Central Florida Division.
    • By eliminating transfers for inpatients, this reduces a patient’s length of stay by at least 24 hours, equating to a savings of $150,000 annually.
    • Cardiac MRI services grew by 38% across local markets, improving patient’s access to care.
  • Image Quality:
    • Nearly 1,000 advanced MRIs have been performed via the Virtual MRI platform and the rescan rate has dropped to 0.
    • Protocols have been remotely adjusted nearly 200 times for large scale improvements in quality and performance.
  • Team Engagement:
    • The Virtual MRI technologist can pilot up to three scanners at once and can cover staffing gaps and call outs at the local level.
    • An expert MRI technologist provides coaching and guidance on complex exams remotely, thus improving the support for clinical teams at smaller sites.
  • Patient Satisfaction:
    • Advanced MRI outpatient studies are available at multiple sites across Central Florida with next day availability.
    • Patients no longer wait weeks for complex MRI studies and can be scanned at a campus closer to their home or at the hospital they are admitted to.

The future of the program:

Led by physician champions, including pediatric cardiologist Dr. Hao Hsu, neuroradiologists Dr. Richard Beegleand Dr. Izlem Izbudak, pediatric radiologists Dr. Jennifer Williamsand Dr. Aaron Lindsay, musculoskeletal radiologist Dr. Christopher Wasyliw, breast radiologist Dr. Clark Rogers, cardiothoracic radiologist Dr. Ashkan Ghaneie, and body imaging radiologists Dr. Nicholas Feranecand Dr. Ibrahim Koury, AdventHealth’s Virtual MRI Program has been instrumental for pediatric and cardiac MRI exams.

DNV Innovator of the Year recipients
AdventHealth received the Healthcare Innovation of the Year award during the DNV Healthcare annual symposium in Louisville, Kentucky. From left to right: AdventHealth Senior Modality Manager - MRI Ann Hester, AdventHealth Vice President of Imaging Services Melissa Petrasko, and AdventHealth Lead Virtual MRI Specialist Will Lee.

The MRI Virtual Operations Center can scan any MRI study remotely.

The following new MRI exams were launched through the virtual MRI platform:

  • Adult Cardiac
  • Congenital and Pediatric Cardiac
  • Brain Perfusion
  • Fetal
  • Hemarthrosis Knee and MRA Lower Extremity
  • Iron Overload
  • Pediatric Whole Body
  • Pediatric Urography
  • Placenta
  • Pudenal Nerve

On the immediate horizon, this program will be expanded to include the following exams:

  • Brain Quantitative Analysis Program (Alzheimer/Dementia, Epilepsy, MS)
  • 4D Flow Cardiac MR (CMR)
  • Elastography

While the virtual program is currently limited to AdventHealth’s Siemens MRI scanners, this will soon be expanded to include all MRI equipment, as well as computed tomography (CT) scans.

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