Key findings of Royal Philips' research on the patient experience in diagnostic imaging procedures reinforce the importance of trust between patients and imaging staff to get the image right the first time. Philips' Patient Experience in Imaging Study surveyed 603 patients in the United States and Germany about their satisfaction, expectations, preferences, and unmet needs with diagnostic imaging procedures in the past year. Patients identified trust in the referring doctor, communication, comfort, safety, and getting the image right the first time as key priorities. The research provides insight into how patients perceive imaging procedures, what they value during the process, and what health care professionals can do to create a more patient-centered imaging experience.
Stress Can Impact Imaging Outcomes
The study focused on the premise that patient anxiety and discomfort throughout the diagnostic imaging process can significantly impact its outcome, ranging from stress-related movement that impedes high-value scans in MRI1 to the physiological effects of stress on image acquisition in PET-CT2. Patients who feel comfortable and secure are less likely to engage in behaviors that compromise the quality of the imaging study, making it easier for staff to acquire high-quality images and radiologists to accurately interpret them.
Communication, Comfort, and Safety Key Priorities
Patients' top priorities were to get through the scan as quickly as possible and to minimize exposure to harmful radiation and contrast agents. While most patient respondents expressed feelings of being well taken care of, respected, and informed, many also cited feelings of nervousness, uncertainty, and powerlessness during the process. Other highlights of the study that patients rated as important or very important include the following:
"By better understanding patient needs, we can support our customers in achieving the Triple Aim and addressing the priorities of reducing cost, achieving a timely and confident diagnosis, and improving the patient experience by minimizing anxiety across the imaging ecosystem," says Kees Wesdorp, business leader for diagnostic imaging at Philips.
The Patient Experience in Imaging Study was conducted for Philips in the summer of 2017 by Kantar TNS. The double-blind study assessed patient impressions across the imaging experience from referral through diagnosis or follow-up. To download the study, visit www.philips.com/radiology.
1. Andre JB, Johansson K. Relaxed patients, reduced motion, improved productivity. FieldStrength MRI Magazine. Philips website. https://www.usa.philips.com/healthcare/education-resources/publications/fieldstrength/mri-patient-experience-to-help-reduce-motion. Published June 2016.
2. Vogel WV, Valdés Olmos RA, Tijs TJ, Gillies MF, van Elswijk G, Vogt J. Intervention to lower anxiety of 18F-FDG PET/CT patients by use of audiovisual imagery during the uptake phase before imaging. J Nucl Med Technol. 2012;40(2):92-98.
Source: Royal Philips