The significance of a great patient experience in radiology

None of us enjoy feeling like we’re being passed through an assembling line in a heartless multi-billion valued corporation. Patient-centred healthcare looks at each patient as an individual and emphasises patient engagement and communication. No one likes to imagine their lovely grandmother being rushed through a badly maintained radiology department for their MRI or contrasted CT scan without some proper communication and empathy. So why do that with other people’s families?

Patient perception and clinical space

Imagine walking into a radiology department with soothing colours, well-designed waiting and clinical areas, and friendly staff. Such an environment immediately puts patients at ease, making them feel valued, cared for and less anxious. This in turn allows them to be more focused and less self-centred which will undoubtedly help the staff looking after them provide a better imaging experience. Satisfied patients comply better with follow-up appointments and treatment plans and are more likely to recommend the facility to others.

CT environment
A visually appealing examination environment can make a world of difference.

Safety and hygiene: the invisible pillars

A clean and organised radiology facility shows a dedication to medical advancements. On the contrary, a neglected environment may lead patients to doubt the quality of the services offered and increase their levels of anxiety.

In today’s healthcare landscape, safety and infection control have become paramount concerns. Adequate spacing, hygiene stations, as well as proper, durable, easy to disinfect padding, all contribute to great patient experience. No one likes to lay their face on a cracked cushion/equipment or dirty pillow.

Positioning throughout the scan

Accurate patient positioning is a fundamental requirement for high-quality radiological images. Proper positioning ensures that the targeted anatomy is appropriately visualised, minimising the need for repeat scans. However, achieving optimal positioning can be challenging, particularly for patients with physical limitations or anxiety. Positioning with proper padding and proper explanation/demonstration not only reduces anxiety and discomfort but also helps achieving better diagnosis as comfortable patients are more compliant to stay still and follow instructions, resulting in clearer images.

Emotional support: the subtle art of empathy

Radiology departments can implement care approaches to address emotional needs. Creating a calming and empathic environment, offering pre-procedure relaxation techniques, and providing emotional support or chaperones can mitigate anxiety and improve the overall experience. It is easy to lose focus during long hours of work with staff shortages and outdated equipment, but sympathising with our patients’ feelings is still a must.

Ensuring a positive patient experience in radiology is not only a matter of medical efficacy but also an ethical practice. It aligns with the principles of patient autonomy, beneficence, candour, and non-maleficence. Radiology professionals have a responsibility to prioritize patient comfort and emotional wellbeing, as part of their duty of care.

The sum of its parts for a holistic experience

In conclusion, the patient experience in the radiology setting encompasses various critical aspects, ranging from room decorations, patient-staff communication, patient positioning, and ethical care. By recognising the interconnectedness of these elements and adopting a patient-centred approach, radiology departments can enhance diagnostic outcomes, reduce radiation exposures, and leave patients with a lasting positive impression of their journey toward healing.

For the full article, follow this link.

Pearl Technology is a leading manufacturer of patient positioning solutions in radiology. The product range encompasses a broad variety of positioning aids setting new standards in terms of image quality, workflow efficiency, hygiene as well as patient experience.

Contributed by Samuel Oliveira.

Samuel Oliveira is a passionate radiology professional, MRI safety officer, opinion leader, and innovator. As the founder and ceo of Everything MRI, as well as the founder of the London MRI Leads Group, he is committed to changing and improving the MRI world step by step.

Lead picture: Optimum patient positioning is a fundamental prerequisite for successful examinations.

This news story has been sponsored by the companies concerned and does not represent the views or opinions of RAD Magazine.

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