Selecting an MRI System: A Multi Criteria Decision Making Model for MRI Technicians

Selecting an MRI System: A Multi Criteria Decision Making Model for MRI Technicians

Gulsah Hancerliogullari Koksalmis (Industrial Engineering Department, Management Faculty, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey), Cuneyt Calisir (Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey), Murat Durucu (Industrial Engineering Department, Management Faculty, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey) and Fethi Calisir (Industrial Engineering Department, Management Faculty, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJBAN.2018070102


This article describes how magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems play a crucial role in radiology, specifically in the diagnosis of diseases and management of patient treatment. The objective of this article is to present MRI technicians' perspective on the relative importance of the required factors when selecting and purchasing an MRI system. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) methodology was used to determine the relative priorities for different criteria along with the consistency of responses. A set of criteria for MRI system were identified based on the literature and interviews with experts (i.e., MRI technicians), and organized into a rational hierarchical framework consisting of the five main criteria and nineteen sub-criteria. An online survey including demographic questions was conducted to identify the relative weights of these criteria. Survey responses from 87 technicians indicate that brand is found to be the most important criteria, followed by patient comfort, usability, technical issues, and performance. Among the sub-criteria, the highest weights are assessed for country of origin, user-friendly independent workstation, reputation, software support. The findings demonstrate the factors that can be critical discriminators between different MRI systems.
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Medical digital imaging system, as a mechanism for diagnosis and treatment of diseases, has a vital role in health care. In order to offer a qualified health care service, authorities should satisfy the patients by providing reliable and well-equipped medical systems in health care centres. Stakeholders, who are involved in making decisions on development and purchasing of medical systems, are interested in importance of factors for medical system selection. In this study, we concentrate on MRI technicians’ point of view on the use of a magnetic resonance imaging system. MRI, one of the most important innovations in the practice of radiology, is a non-invasive medical digital imaging technology. It uses a magnetic field and radio waves to enable 3D high-resolution detailed anatomical images of the organs, tissues and skeletal system within the body for disease detection, diagnosis and treatment monitoring (Mayo Clinic, 2016). MRI system is performed to diagnose not only spinal cord injuries, disorders of the eye and inner ear but also tumors or other abnormalities of many organs in the body such as liver, kidneys, ovaries, etc. MRI system does not use the X-rays or other radiation hence it is better than computed tomography scanning especially if frequent imaging is needed for diagnosis or therapy (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2016).

Selection of the best MRI system for a health care center has several challenges given the various stakeholders, vendor alternatives, and criteria that have to be considered. Amongst them, MRI technicians are one of the most important users and stakeholders. Including multiple conflicting criteria, goals or objectives, medical system selection can be considered as a multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) problem, an advanced field of operations research. The Analytic Hierarchy Process is one of the most widely used MCDM methods. The tool allows the decision maker to construct problems in the system of a hierarchy: the objective, the criteria, and the alternatives. The AHP has been used in various areas such as selection, evaluation, resource allocation and decision making, and almost all the applications including health care, education, management, manufacturing, politics, and finance (Saaty, 1977; Saaty, 1980; Vaidya & Kumar, 2006; Steuer & Na, 2003; Zahedi, 1986; Vargas, 1990; Liberatore & Nydick, 2008; Schmidt et al., 2015; Ho, 2008; Ivlev et al., 2014; Kou & Ergu, 2016; Fırat et al., 2017; Khurana et al., 2017).

In this study, a MCDM method is proposed to determine weights of factors influencing medical digital imaging system selection. In spite of the significance of the selection of the best MRI system, there have not been any study focusing on MRI technicians’ opinion on the relative importance of the factors when selecting or purchasing an MRI system. Although there have been several applications of AHP method in healthcare, this is the first concentrated work to assess the relative priorities of various criteria at different levels in selecting an MRI system from the perspective of technicians.

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