St. John’s Medical Center is hosting an open house to showcase its new magnetic resonance imaging system and newly designed MRI suite today. MRI exams are non-invasive diagnostic imaging exams of soft tissue, bone and muscles and have become one of the fastest growing types of medical diagnostic tests in the United States. Hospital Spokesperson Karen Connelly says one of the drawbacks of the old system for patients was the confinement they felt during exams. She says the spacious setting the new MRI suite offers will make a difference in reducing some of the anxiety that goes along with this type of exam. She says the equipment is a large open design and most of the exams will be able to be done without the patient’s head being inside the equipment; which also helps reduce anxiety. Connelly says the new system helps the exams to be conducted more quickly, reducing the time a patient is in the machine. Furthermore, Connelly says the new machine produces much clearer images. Connelly says the new $2.2-million MRI was installed last month in a new suite designed to be more welcoming and soothing for patients than the old one. The suite may be viewed today between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.