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3 Tips for Redesigning MRI Suites in Your Facility

Apr 29, 2021 | Articles, MRI

Working in a radiology environment can be complex because you use highly sensitive equipment and place them in building systems. Thus, you have to consider the design of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suites to ensure you comply with building codes and regulations and ensure all of your equipment works safely and efficiently.

With the evolving machine technology and increased demand in performing procedures, you may have to do more than just replace your old MRI machine with a newer model. Keep in mind that the safety aspect associated with MRI can be especially tricky because it can lead to a phenomenon called the projectile effect. It occurs when ferrous objects, like those made with nickel, steel, or cobalt, can be strongly attracted toward the magnet’s bore when they reach the edges of an MRI magnet’s magnetic field. Thus, you may need to consider redesigning MRI suites. Here are some tips for a successful redesigning project:

  • Sell or donate old MRI machines

You may be wondering what to do with your old MRI machines. Note that there is a large market for used MRIs, and the majority of sales involve the buyer paying for rigging services. Instead of scrapping your existing MRI, consider selling or donating them to medical institutions that do not possess adequate MRI technology. 

  • Prepare for MRI rigging

Rigging is always challenging because the weight of an MRI can cause structural damage and easily crack flooring. Before removing a magnet, figure out what is located below the current floor, the existing magnet dimensions (with and without the cover), and whether a tilt frame was originally used for transport. You also have to review the contracted rigger and their qualifications if your medical facility is selling the existing magnet.

When rigging a new magnet in, consider the verification of all existing corridors, including the ceiling cameras, handrail projections, and signage. The length of a long bore also has to be measured for turns. Most importantly, take the magnet height into account. Older magnets had tilt frames that let them slide under a standard door, while newer ones are taller and require revising existing door frame heights.


  • Know your safety zones

Consider machine locations and MRI safe practices. To minimize potential risks and adverse incidents, divide MRI suites into the following clearly marked zones:

  • Safety Zone I: An unrestricted-access area that provides patients and healthcare professionals with access to the MR environment.
  • Safety Zone II: A controlled-access area where patients are supervised and unable to move around freely, where screening questions, medical histories, insurance, and other important information are gathered. Here, all materials that can be attracted by the magnets are removed.
  • Safety Zone III: A restricted-access area that serves as an MR control room and holds post-screen patients. It utilizes security methods to restrict all non-MR personnel.  
  • Safety Zone IV: The MR scanning room itself. It has a Ferro metal detector that requires everyone to pass through it before entering the MR room. It also has a red light and lighted sign, stating “The Magnet is On” and a warning sign on the front of the door into the MR room. 



Updating MRI suites is a matter of health, safety, and life. Ensure you design a safer, better MRI facility, prevent MRI injuries and accidents, and provide high-quality patient care by following the tips listed above. Consider working with a trusted medical imaging parts and services provider like us to have a successful MRI suite redesign.

Whether you need MRI parts or MRI coil repair, you can count on DirectMed Parts & Services. We ensure you get high-quality CT and MRI parts and coils in excellent working conditions. Contact us today to get started on your MRI suite redesign! 

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