Published Articles

Optimizing Breast MRI – May 2011

optimizing breast mri

One of the major points shared in this article, is that on average the national recommendations for MRI of the breast out of mammography imaging cases is five to six percent.

Sites that are not matching the national average may want to evaluate their reading programs, review their internal processes and better educate their breast reading radiologists.  Many recommendations for the    MRI breast studies are often generated from the mammography radiologist. Many radiologists have voiced to us their primary concern being the reportedly number of false positives that are produced from dynamic breast MRI procedures. This is one of the reasons MRI Optimize Consultants believes with the right education for the staff performing the exams, the correct processes in place designed to check and double check procedures, the correct preparation and timing of the exam with regards to the patients’ cycle, and so much more is important to reduce the number of false positives.

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Social Media is a Vital Tool to Market a Radiology Practice – August 2010

social-media-in-radiology  This is a published interview of Catherine Leyen of MRI Optimize Consultants, LLC from Sara Levanduski of “IMAGING for Radiology Professionals” titled “Social media is a vital tool to market a    radiology practice”.   At the time this interview took place, July 2010, Sara did not have a Twitter account, and while Catherine encouraged her as a journalist to get one, Sara seemed somewhat hesitant to do so.  Catherine has been part of social media since 1999, when she had her first hobby related website back then, and joined the Phoenix Social Media Club in 2006, long before the trend became popular.  Seeing the value of social media in radiology marketing, Catherine designed one of the first social media marketing programs for radiology.

Prior to this article coming out, MRI Optimize Consultant’s Catherine Leyen was the first to speak publicly at the National AHRA (American Healthcare Radiology Administrators) Meeting in Washington DC in August 2010 at the Gaylord Convention Center for ninety minutes introducing “Social Media for Radiology Marketing”.

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imaging, a two way street  “Imaging, a two way street. Using multiple vendors or one” OCTOBER 2009- HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT Magazine    (Rosemary Fisher and Catherine Leyen, both from MRI Optimize Consultants, co-authored the article with Kenneth Johnson of KJA & Associates.)  The debate over which approach is best – single-vendor versus multi-vendor contracts – to meet all of your imaging needs is an over simplification. To begin with, rarely is it even possible for a single vendor to meet all imaging needs for one department let alone across a network of hospitals.  All companies typically have some gaps in their product lines or have some offerings that are not competitive at certain periods of time. Thus, at a minimum, it is necessary to have some exceptions, or “carve outs”, to a single vendor contract.   Making wise purchase decisions is more critical – and challenging – than ever in today’s economic climate. Capital funds have been slashed or eliminated within many healthcare institutions.

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MRI Technologist Aides Are a Critical Link in a Successful Chain – Medical Dealer Magazine November 2009

MRI Technologist Aides Are a Critical Link in a Successful Chain  Hospitals and imaging centers throughout the United States have reduced costs by cutting back on staff and some other necessities to the point that all these reductions could potentially have a negative effect on the level of care being given to their patients. We have seen an unprecedented rise in MRI accidents, up 277 percent, which safety expert Tobias Gilk, president of MedNovus, believes is a gross underestimate, since not nearly all cases are reported. (See last month’s article in Medical Dealer).

We are also seeing a serious rise in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) cases originating in the MR scanner from the unclean pads, the table, and equipment in and around the scanner. Dr. Peter Rothschild’s ground-breaking white paper, “Preventing Infection in MRI: Best Practices for Infection Control in and Around MRI Suites,” points out the inadequacies of infection control in medical imaging and has led the way for those interested in the highest level of patient care. Between the increased number of MRI accidents, the rise of MRSA cases, and the tight schedules mandated to the MRI technologists, something had to give.

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“A Deadly Trend/ Statistics Show MRI Accidents up 277%” – Medical Dealer Magazine October 2009

safescan The following is a conversation between MRI Optimize Consultants and Tobias Gilk, the President and Safety Director of MedNovus. Gilk’s company provides several different formats of ferromagnetic-detection products, which conform to recommendations from the American College of Radiology, the U.S. department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Joint Commissions Sentinel Event Alert #38.  The heading above was no misprint. When we heard Tobias Gilk, of Mednovus mention this statistic at the recent 2009 AHRA (The Association for Medical Imaging Management) annual meeting in Las Vegas, we were mortified.  A deadly trend, statistics show MRI accidents are up 277% according to reports released by the FDA.

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“Upgrading Your Technical Staff” – Medical Dealer Magazine August 2009

Upgrading Your Technical StaffYou may remember playing a game called “Telephone” or “Whispers” as a child. You get as many kids as you can to line up or sit in a circle so that they can whisper into the ear of their immediate neighbors. The player at the beginning of the line thinks of a phrase, and whispers it as quietly as possible to his neighbor. That neighbor then passes on the message to the next player and the passing continues until it reaches the player at the end of the line, who then announces to the group the message he or she received. In a successful game, the final message (comically) will bear little or no resemblance to the original, because of the cumulative effect of mistakes as the information was passed from person to person. You can see this same cumulative effect (not so comical) on technical information being passed from technologist to technologist over the years. None of this is done purposely – it’s just the way it happens.

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“Just Be Nice” – Medical Dealer Magazine June 2009


One of the first things a baby hears from his mother (right after “No!”) is “Be nice”. This phrase is uttered with various intonations, volumes and intensities depending on the situation. This lesson is given to us early in life, repeated frequently and it still pays to be reminded of it every now and then. Being nice is better known as customer service in the medical imaging world. It seems to be a most popular topic in various media outlets as well as in Radiology magazines and seminars and conferences.

It seems that there are reminders to be nice everywhere, no matter what the business. The Los Angeles Times ran an article in October 2008 written by actor Josh Radnor that was titled “Hollywood Rules: Kind Over Matter”.

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 “31000 Remarkable Hot Dogs” – Medical Dealer Magazine June 2009

31000 Hot Dogs  June – 2009   Many articles and news stories have described our troubled economic situation in graphic detail. Shrinking budgets and ever narrowing margins are forcing managers to make difficult choices about staffing levels, equipment purchases and even the care that is offered to their patients. Instead of focusing on the figures and numbers of the story, perhaps we need to look at this as an opportunity to do something remarkable for your community and increase the care offered to your patients, especially those who cannot afford the care they desperately require.

One of our local high schools has an open lunch policy and every day around 11:30 hungry kids head out to find a bite to eat. A church is located next to the school and after some discussion, decided that this was an opportunity to perform one of their basic missions: care for others without asking for anything in return. With a hot dog, bottled water and a cookie, students would be fed with no strings attached.  Before the first meal was offered, the church members discussed how many students might show up; maybe twenty, possible thirty-five? No one really knew what to expect.

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Recession Proof Your MRI Business by James Markland  (On an interview from MRI Optimize Consultants)

imaging-economics-reporter  Layoffs mean fewer insured people, and that fact is hurting MRI centers. Experts say tough times call for new tactics.

For MRI imaging centers, growing the business is always a challenge. But in today’s economic downturn, the hurdles are even greater. Key among them: MRI imaging centers are finding that as a growing number of people lose their jobs, they ultimately lose their health insurance benefits. The inevitable result is that fewer people are having MRIs.

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“Economic Downturn is Opportunity for Imaging Centers to Become Remarkable” Medical Dealer Magazine April 2009

Economic Downturn is Opportunity for Imaging Centers to Become Remarkable  With daily headlines including words like recession and economic depression, imaging centers are tightening their belts now more than ever. This difficult economy can, however, be a unique opportunity for imaging center managers and radiology administrators to set their businesses apart from the competition. By choosing to approach the problem seeking solutions, opportunities present themselves for creating remarkable service, remarkable image quality, and remarkable relationships in this industry. Managers should welcome this opportunity to scrutinize every business process and procedure.

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March – 2009  “Consultants Help Optimize MRI Business”

imaging-economics  In today’s economy, no purchase goes unscrutinized. “People are looking hard at whether they really need to replace their MRI scanner or if they can make it last another 2 years,” said Rosemary Fisher, RT(R)(CT)(MR), cofounder of MRI Optimize Consultants, headquartered in Tempe, Arizona.   Chances are, Fisher says, the machine can hold out.

“The facility can make it last and at the same time expand the scope of the services it offers. Often, the users aren’t aware of the full capabilities of a system and the things it can do,” Fisher said.

Fisher and cofounder Catherine Leyen, RT(R)(MR)(CV), established MRI Optimize Consultants, LLC to help facilities make smart decisions regarding their MRI operations and “optimize” their MR programs. “We look at the big picture from the beginning of a program to patient follow-up,” Leyen said.

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