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Before the installation of the new machine, the next available appointment for a scan at one of our hospitals was longer than we wanted it to be. Now, the goal is to be able to schedule an appointment within just a few days.

Published Feb 18th, 2021

By Nichelle Smith
nsmith@health.southalabama.edu

A new MRI machine recently opened at USA Health Mobile Diagnostic Center at University Commons, helping to increase appointment availability for outpatient scans.

“We needed an additional MRI in our health system because we previously did not have one located outside of one of the hospitals,” said Alice Johnson, assistant administrator at USA Health. “The hospital MRIs – two at University Hospital and one at Children’s & Women’s Hospital – are very full. We scan inpatients and outpatients at both locations, but we are at capacity as the demand for outpatient MRIs increases.”

Before the installation of the new machine, the next available appointment for a scan at one of our hospitals was longer than we wanted it to be. Now, the goal is to be able to schedule an appointment within just a few days.

USA providers can schedule a patient for an MRI at University Commons by:

  1. Entering the order into Athena or Cerner
  2. Clinic staff can call (251) 342-3829 and provide information on what timeframe the patient needs the scan
  3. Radiology can schedule the appointment and share the appointment time with the nurse, medical assistant or patient.

To speak with someone in scheduling, call 251-415-1660 and select option 1. For direct communication with MRI staff at the Commons, call (251) 341-3829 or fax (251) 660-6496.

Though the location of this MRI is temporary, it will help add capacity for outpatients and help conveniently serve patients at the Commons location until it moves to its permanent home.

“The MRI is temporary and will be replaced once the imaging center attached to the free-standing emergency department is operational in 2022,” Johnson said.

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