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A better MR experience

by Valerie Dimond, Contributing Reporter | September 07, 2020
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From the September 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Fear, anxiety, claustrophobia — or just a general feeling of unease — is what many patients undergoing an MR procedure experience. The providers and end users of MR technology are well aware of the challenges, not only from a patient satisfaction and comfort perspective, but how patient experience impacts clinical and financial outcomes.

While there’s no substitute for an engaging and empathetic clinical staff, the actual experience of undergoing a scan can be difficult no matter how supportive the MR suite employees are.

“The technologist is the first line of defense against bad MR experiences,” said Paul E. Bullwinkel, president of Avotec, an MR accessory provider. Yet, it’s not easy to fully grasp what it’s like to be inside an MR bore unless you’ve been there. “Most care providers, radiologists, and technologists, are not required to undergo an MR exam as part of their training; they do not have a personal experience with the inherent difficulties of undergoing an MR exam.”
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Fortunately, MR technology is advancing dramatically with equipment features designed to transport patients to other atmospheres, complete with soothing or engaging sounds and landscapes that help reduce the unpleasant experience without sacrificing precision or throughput.

“A patient comfort system can reduce or eliminate the time spent trying to talk a patient through an MR procedure, a process that can disrupt the whole day’s schedule,” said Bullwinkel. “And if a re-exam can be prevented, the potential cost savings may be substantial, because re-examination might not be reimbursed by the insurance company; and in a competitive and socially linked environment, sites that offer patient comfort solutions that lead to less stressful exams may be the ones chosen to fulfill future exam prescription.”

Bullwinkel and other suppliers discussed in detail the technologies their companies are offering to improve the MR experience.

Delightful diversions
Avotec’s new SV-6060 HDMI MR-compatible projector operates anywhere inside an MR room to transform the bore into an environment that appeals to both children and adults. “What the patient used to see as a grey featureless tunnel can now look like a magical underwater video,” said Bullwinkel. “And when combined with the Silent Scan audio system, the MR exam can be transformed into a stress-free and comforting experience.”

Avotec’s Silent Scan system offers a reliable, full-duplex communication pathway to ensure consistent, quality communication between patient and provider. Plus, Avotec’s systems have multiple visual systems and headset types that can be used on all head coils.

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