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Patient experience becoming top priority in MR suite

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | September 05, 2022
MRI
From the September 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


The patient simply chooses which setting they would like, and the Caring MR Suite customizes it by adjusting video, lighting, and music. Additionally, they can sit back in the scanner and watch a movie or TV show on PDC Facilities’ wireless version of its In-Bore Viewing Video Display.

“The personalized experience provides patients with both a sense of wonder and control. For busy MR techs, all suite controls are a tap or two away, and the Caring MR Suite is designed to ensure techs can always quickly deliver a great patient experience,” said Jessica Maslowski, marketing and customer support for Caring Suite Applications at PDC Facilities, located in Hartland, Wisconsin.

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Comfort Health Solutions, in Fletcher, North Carolina, has a similar approach. Using 12 projectors, the company’s Enspirations 360 interactive system bathes the walls and gantry in ambient lighting and designs that create a full 360-degree personalized experience to make them feel more at ease. “It really immerses the patient when they come through," said David Mathieu, chief creative officer for Comfort Health Solutions.

While a good distraction visually, video has its limitations, according to John Hornbrook, chief operating officer at MRIaudio, located in Carlsbad, California. He says that audio-only solutions may allow patients to imagine themselves in any place that makes them feel at ease by listening to their favorite music or podcast. They also may be able to converse more easily with personnel in the control room.

"With audio alone, the patient has music and their imagination, and you can go anywhere, whereas with visuals, you only have the options available to you. If you only have one or two scenes or a scary movie to offer, it can be a little stress inducing," said Hornbrook.

Relaxing the patient at the best cost
Movement alone can cost as much as $115,000 per scanner each year, according to a 2015 study by Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. The researchers found that across 192 completed clinical exams, roughly 20% had to be repeated. This is because anxiety among patients causes them to move, distorting scans and creating the need to reschedule them. This, in turn, delays diagnosis and care, and creates longer waiting times for other patients.

Sedation and anesthesia services can prevent patients from moving but are costly and time consuming. They require additional specialized staff to put the patient under, and make the scan more complex, raising the risk associated with it.

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