Scheduling Policies for MRI Scan Time
Lucas Center Scheduling Policies
As a Federal- and University-regulated Service Center, we can neither make nor lose money in each fiscal year, so we attempt to govern as effectively as possible to minimize cost and maximize convenience for our users. By instituting new policies recently, we have markedly reduced the scan time overbooking, resulting in more available scan time. We will aperiodically review our operations and instigate policy changes as needed. In this update, we clarify that short term cancelation fees are not applied.
1. Booking Policy
Users should only book scanner time when a confirmed subject or scan need is in hand. However, a slot may be temporarily booked for one day in advance without confirmed subject. This 1-day courtesy hold should be used to confirm resources/participants/collaborators etc. But it is the booker's responsibility to cancel within 24 hours if the subject cannnot be confirmed.
Sometimes a confirmed scan time is booked erroneously and needs to be changed within the same day. These changes will not incur a cancellation fee if rebooked within 24 hours.
2. Scan Time User Policy
There will be a minimum of two MRI safety-trained users in the MRI environment whenever participants are present. During this time, the two MRI-trained users must be able to communicate directly within earshot of each other at all times. There are no exceptions to this policy. This ensures that when routinely scheduled research subjects are in the MRI suites, there will be a minimum of two MRI-trained personnel to ensure safe operation and adequate access control.
All non-MRI-trained personnel must be accompanied by, or under the immediate supervision of, and in visual contact with all trained users, except in the changing room and/or bathroom, where verbal communication is sufficient.
All MRI users are required to undergo an MRI screening process as part of their employment agreement to ensure their safety in the MRI environment, for their own protection, and for the protection of the non-MRI personnel under their supervision. All MRI users must immediately report to Lucas Staff any trauma, procedure, or surgery they experience or undergo where a ferromagnetic object or device may have been introduced within or on them. This allows appropriate screening of the employee to determine the safety of permitting that employee into the Magnet Suite.
Research volunteers or research guardians are to complete a written MRI screening questionnaire before their introduction to the MRI suite. The guardian or research subject and the screening MRI staff member must both sign the completed form. This form should then be attached to the consent form and will become part of the participant's research record. No empty responses are accepted, and each question must be answered with a yes or no, or specific further information must be provided as requested.
Nonambulatory, high-risk, or hospital patients are NOT to be scanned at the Lucas Center. Research volunteers must be able to transfer safely from their own wheelchair to the MRI-safe wheelchairs located in both 3T2 and 3T3 equipment areas.
3. Cancellation Policy
The cancellation deadline is 2 weeks before scheduled scan time. You must cancel at least 2 weeks in advance to avoid a late cancellation fee. A late cancellation fee of 10% will be charged for cancellations that occur less than 2 week(s) before the scan (unless the cancellation is made within 24 hours of when you created the booking , as described in the previous section, Booking Policy). You will not be charged a cancellation fee if the cancelled time has been replaced by a funded study.
There are circumstances outside of the PI’s control which cause late cancellations (subject no-show, illness, traffic, claustrophobia, etc.). In the past, the entire user base shared the cost of these late cancellations. However, no justification for waiving the 10% late cancellation fee will be permitted. This will result in some late cancellation charges for which the PI had no control, however, failed experiments are a cost of doing all research, and the rate may vary across subject populations, etc. We will not attempt to judge which circumstance is justifiable and which is not, because that is a slippery slope.
Unfortunately, there are occasional Lucas Center hardware or software malfunctions which cause a user’s scan slot to fail, and of course, we will not charge a cancellation. In such events, the Lucas Facility Manager should promptly be notified of the malfunction if not already aware. Please note this does not include the malfunction or unavailability of any user-supplied hardware, software or materials. Such circumstances are the user’s responsibility.
Principal Investigators should note that allowing for cancellation fees may need to be negotiated with funding agencies (e.g. NIH), and if denied the study PI will be required to provide a valid PTA for this purpose in order for the scan account to be active.
4. MD Coverage (CONTRAST INJECTION ONLY)
All human injections must be overseen by an on-site licensed physician. The Lucas Center can provide this coverage, at an additional cost, if the scan date and time is at least 7 days in advance of need and during MD Contrast Hours (as referenced in MR Service Rates). Alternatively, a project may choose to provide their own on-site MD Coverage, but must disclose the Physician's Full Name, Credentials, CA License Number, Current Position, and Cell Phone Number in advance of the scan. Users are responsible of notifying Lucas Center staff as soon as possible to cancel Lucas MD Coverage no longer needed.
5. MRI Technologist Coverage
MRI Technologists are available, upon request, to provide scan supervision and assistance to all users. Generally, the Lucas Center provides this coverage, at an additional cost, if the request can be reasonably accommodated and adheres to MR Technologist Hours (as referenced in MR Service Rates). Since such scans require additional effort to prepare and coordinate, our MRI Technologists make every effort to accommodate all incoming requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. All projects must submit a Scan Subject Request Form and disclose all requested details before securing scan time with MRI Technologist coverage. Users are responsible of notifying Lucas Center staff as soon as possible to cancel MRI Tech Coverage no longer needed.
6. Veterinarian Coverage
All animal scans must be overseen by an on-site licensed veterinarian. The Lucas Center provides this coverage, at an additional cost, if the scan date and time is at least 2 weeks in advance of need and during Veterinary Hours (as referenced in MR Service Rates). Since such scans require additional effort to prepare and coordinate, our Veterinarians and Vet Techs make every effort to accommodate all incoming requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. All users must contact Lucas Magnet Manager, Karla Epperson, to obtain scan clearance and Lucas Veterinary Research Coordinator, Yamil Saenz, for APLAC, Coverage, or other Veterinary-specific inquiries. Users are responsible of notifying Lucas Center staff as soon as possible to cancel Veterinarian Coverage no longer needed.
7. Training or Protocol Development
The Lucas staff and users have found protocol development time to be an important part of the training and quality of the work at our Center We will provide unfunded time that can be booked no more than 48 hours in advance for regular day time (8 AM - 6 PM) hours, and no more than 5 days in advance for off-peak hours. We view these unfunded sessions as more flexible than funded studies, and thus we ask users to be more flexible in picking up unused slots. Protocol Development time should generally be limited to 2-4 hours (maximum of 5 hours) for each new grant/Funded study. We do not wish to discourage users from continuing to have good training and an excellent safety record. If there is a good reason to schedule protocol development time with a slightly longer lead time, or for more than the maximum of 5 hours, you may request permission from Lucas staff.
8. Advance Booking Window
Advanced booking on the Lucas scheduler will be limited to ≤ 8 weeks. If you need to schedule time greater than 8 weeks in advance, please email Lucas staff with these dates together with an explanation of the confirmed need for each entry (e.g. Joe Smith is already scheduled in a longitudinal study 6 months after previous scan).
9. Special Circumstances
There are always special circumstances! We want to accommodate your (reasonable) needs; please notify staff of your requests.
Last Updated: February 5, 2024