How to Prepare Your MRI for an Incoming Storm

Is your area prone to rough weather? Tornadoes? Hurricanes? Frequent thunderstorms? Your MRI may have made it through in the past, but now you want to protect this large, expensive piece of equipment from the harsh, unpredictable elements. Or maybe the weather service is predicting the worst storm season in years. Either way, we have some solutions that could help you add extra layers of protection for your equipment.

How Can I Protect My MRI from a Storm?

First, you should know that there isn’t much you can do once the weather is upon you. However, there are some key components that can help you out if you plan ahead.

Remote Monitoring

Short of having someone on hand to watch your MRI around the clock, the best thing you can do to respond to problems as soon as they strike is outfit your scanner with a remote monitoring device. These devices network your MRI to a server and allow you to check in on the status of your system, even if no one is at the facility.

Remote monitoring reports your MRI's most important statistics, like helium level, compressor and chiller status, magnet pressure, and equipment room temperature. These five data points will tell you almost anything you need to know about issues that may occur with the system.

Although remote monitoring is wonderful for keeping tabs on your MRI, there are some limitations. If a storm knocks our your building's power, for example, monitoring will only last as long as the device's battery backup. Fortunately, there are ways to work around this too.

Generator Back-Up

A back-up generator is a good idea for any imaging facility, but especially for those that use MRI. In the event of a power outage, a generator will keep the necessities (cold head, compressor, chiller) of the magnet, as well as remote monitoring, running. If these components are running, your magnet will stay cold, your helium won't boil off, and you'll still be able to keep tabs on the situation from wherever you are.

Go-To Engineer

This goes for any time, but especially when you're expecting harsh weather conditions. Make sure you have an engineer that you trust to work on your MRI. Having a go-to engineer who knows you and knows your system can help get you back up and scanning faster if something serious should happen in a storm. And, when the weather is mild, regular maintenance visits from this engineer will address common problems before they get worse and keep your system in optimal working condition.

The Takeaway

Extreme weather is an untameable force and there are no guarantees for protecting equipment from it. With some advance planning, however, the chances of your MRI surviving a storm with no damage and minimal downtime can be increased greatly.

If you'd like to know more about remote MRI monitoring, back-up generators, or experienced MRI field service engineers, our service team is ready to help you extend the life of your MRI. You can read more here, or call 877-733-7142 to speak to a team member directly.


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Alyssa Culp

Alyssa Culp is a Service Coordinator at Block Imaging. Her goal is to put service customers first and make a difference in the way they serve their patients. Out of the office she loves cooking, crafting, and exploring the world of craft beer.