London Health Sciences Centre reduces MRI wait times by more than 50 per cent


For Immediate Release:

December 7 , 2010

(LONDON, Ontario) – Wait times for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) have been dramatically reduced at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) as a result of a strategically focused process-improvement project.

Average patient wait times have fallen from a baseline of 167 days at the project’s inception in April, to 79 days as of September 30. This success equates to more than 5,000 extra MRI appointments each year or 2,500 hours of additional appointment time. Project results bring LHSC’s MRI wait times well below the provincial average.

"This project was a phenomenal success,” said Tony Orfanides, director, medical imaging, at LHSC. "At London Health Sciences Centre we are committed to providing compassionate, high-quality care to our patients and their families. This project has now dramatically improved patient access to an integral part of that care.”

No additional net funding, staffing or equipment was received by the radiology department who conducted the project.

Beginning in April, two teams composed of LHSC leaders, staff, radiologists and members from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care worked collaboratively for two weeks to examine both patient scheduling and the process of patient flow with the objective of improving access to MRI. Emergency MRIs, which are triaged according to urgency, are always given top priority and were not included in the project.

Teams applied Lean principles to the project. These principles originated in the manufacturing industry and involve identifying and addressing process inefficiencies. Resultant suggestions and changes were then incorporated into daily processes.

"This success is a direct result of our staff's hard work," said Dr. Ian Ross, Chief of Radiology at University Hospital. "It was truly a collaborative process and I could not be more pleased with the outcome. We are now able to better serve our patients by providing the best possible test in a much timelier manner."

Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Deb Matthews, applauded LHSC’s success.

"This excellent news is significant because it means quicker care for people right here in London. I congratulate everyone involved and applaud the hospital’s initiative and determination to improve the quality of care for patients.”

About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for 135 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to Children’s Hospital, South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit

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For media inquiries contact:
Cory Habermehl
Corporate Communications and Public Relations
London Health Sciences Centre
519-685-8500, ext. 58738

After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call