People in rural communities know sometimes when they need specialized services they have to travel. They have one less trip to make, though, as the latest medical imaging equipment hits the highway and comes to their communities.

      Mercy has a new, upgraded mobile magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that will travel to its hospitals in Aurora, Mo., Cassville, Mo., and Berryville, Ark. “This is a significant Mercy investment, and it ensures we have the latest technology available in all our communities,” said Kristy Estrem, president of Mercy Hospital Berryville.

      MRI images can show problems that can’t be seen with a traditional x-ray or ultrasound. “The MRI upgrade from the 1.0 to the 1.5 magnet allows us to perform additional exams,” said Susan Coenen, director of Imaging Services at Mercy Hospital Berryville. “It also allows for faster scan times, which decreases the length of the exam for patients.”

      The new mobile MRI will travel between the hospitals, providing weekly service to all three. Patients may only wait a day or two before getting the exam and that will keep them from having to travel for the test.