Due to increasing scrutiny around patient satisfaction and what it may mean for reimbursement, patient volume, and quality standards, it’s no surprise that patient experience is at the forefront of breast centers’ priorities. We recently spoke with many of our top breast health professionals about their top 2018 priorities for their facilities. As expected, improving patient experience topped the list, followed by complying with regulatory requirements, increasing patient volume, and reducing costs. Improving patient experience is certainly not limited to the breast health community however the topic is always a passionate one.
Ensuring patients comply with annual exam recommendations is critical to getting ahead of risky breast abnormalities. However, no matter how often it’s addressed, it can be difficult to get patients to follow through with recommendations. Patients may show a wide range of emotions when visiting a breast center, and these emotions can be driven by the perception of pain associated with their exam, dread of a positive diagnosis, and concern over what to expect. Breast centers across the nation have shared with us some of their approaches for improving the patient experience and perception at their facility, to ensure patients adhere to follow-ups and annual exams.
Positive Patient-Staff Communication Influences Patient Perception
Improving and maintaining patient communication is an ongoing practice at most breast centers. Past studies have proven that positive and effective radiologist-patient interaction and education can impact the patient’s perception of mammography. Since the technologist is often the face of mammograms, centers are continuously stressing the importance of both informative and personal communication with patients to help build a trusting and safe environment. This practice can aid in more knowledgeable and confident patients who are more likely to listen to staff recommendations to return for annual screenings, as well as refer family and friends to their facility.
Calm Office Environment Leads to Calmer Patient
Many breast centers are elevating the patient experience by adopting the ambiance you find at a day spa. These “spa-like” environments are one of the most common responses as to how a center is improving patient experience. From soft robes and lighting, to mellow voices and music, maintaining a calm and relaxing environment can help reduce patients’ anxieties.
3D Mammography Equipment Improves Patient Experience
Approval and implementation of new equipment and systems is oftentimes a time-consuming process, however, it’s often deemed the most important step in improving patient experience. Reducing unnecessary callbacks is the aim for all facilities and up-to-date equipment greatly assists this goal. The adoption of 3D mammography has been rapidly increasing in the last few years, due to the abundance of research conducted showing a lower false positive rate, higher detection rate, as well as the FDA approval of Hologic’s Genius™ 3D Mammography exam that proves superior for women with dense breasts. It’s no wonder that many facilities link patient experience to offering the most advanced equipment.
Whether your facility has implemented these popular methods, or has created or adopted other approaches and processes, PDC Healthcare would love to hear about what’s going on in your center. Give us a call at 800.435.4242 or contact us online and share what you’re working on. We may be able to help and your facility could be featured in an upcoming article.