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What do patients want most when it comes to imaging exams?

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | October 25, 2017
In a health climate where patient satisfaction is becoming more important than ever before, new research aims to figure out what exactly it is that visitors to the imaging department are hoping for.

A study conducted by Kantar TNS on behalf of Philips surveyed 603 patient in the U.S. and Germany with questions pertaining to their satisfaction, expectations, preferences and unmet needs regarding the imaging procedures they underwent in the last year.

What they discovered is that when it comes to diagnostic imaging procedures, patients’ main concerns are comfort and open communication with clinicians.
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"As a result of this research, we hope to create a better imaging experience for patients and staff and shorten the path to a confident diagnosis for better patient outcomes," Martijn Hartjes, senior director and head of global MR product marketing at Philips, told HCB News.

The majority of the respondents indicated that they want to be well-informed throughout the procedure. The timeliness of scheduling procedures and receiving their results were top concerns for 61 percent and 58 percent of the patients, respectively.

"There are many things facilities can do to improve communications with patients," said Hartjes. "Because patients prefer to consume information about their procedure in different ways, providers can make sure they offer information across multiple channels, from written instructions to web content, or even text messages and phone calls."

The study also found that 71 percent consider trusting their referring physician important or very important and 67 percent wanted the staff to get things right the first time to avoid repeat scans.

The respondents were also concerned about their safety. They indicated that they want the procedure to be completed quickly and efficiently to obtain an effective scan with minimal radiation dose and contrast.

"We use this understanding to develop innovative, user-centric diagnostic and interventional technologies coupled with patient-centric design, to support acquisition of the right image the first time, every time," said Hartjes.

Philips is also working to improve patient comfort throughout the procedure. For example, its Ambient Experience in-bore solutions for MR, which counts down how long the patient needs to hold their breath and displays an exam progress bar.

The Patient Experience in Imaging Study is a double-blind study that was conducted in summer 2017 in the Netherlands. It evaluated patients' experiences from referral through diagnosis or follow-up.

A downloadable copy of the Philips’ Patient Experience in Imaging Study is available at www.philips.com/radiology.

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