Radiology

Happy staff, happy patient:
empowering radiology staff for a better patient experience   

By Amber Pokorney
Chief Research MRI Technologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

 

Prioritizing patient comfort and satisfaction may be a hot topic among policy makers in today’s healthcare environment, but it’s nothing new for the healthcare providers who spend most of their time working directly with them. Radiology technologists like me have always known the vital role of a positive patient experience in creating clinical value for patients. In my role supervising MRI technologists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, I’m made aware every day of the importance of providing a calming, supportive environment for our young patients and their families.

 

I’m also acutely conscious of the prominent role our staff plays in creating this calming environment. Whether it’s answering questions and addressing concerns prior to an exam or coaxing a nervous patient into the scanner, technologists are on the front lines of guiding patients and their families through what can amount to a very stressful situation. After all, we are the only human element standing between them and the loud, intimidating machine that may deliver life-changing information about their health.

Phoenix Children's Hospital

With a Medical Staff of nearly 1,000 pediatric specialists, Phoenix Children’s provides inpatient, outpatient, trauma and emergency care across more than 70 pediatric subspecialties.

 

Between our efforts to get patient images right the first time and manage our countless administrative duties, it’s easy to overlook the essential role that our experience can have on how the patient views their exam and subsequent treatment. When staff are preoccupied by the complexity of image acquisition, stressed by an overwhelming workload, or distracted by reporting tasks, it’s the patient who’s at risk for coming up short. To improve the patient’s overall experience within the imaging suite and beyond, we must do a better job of reducing the pressure on the radiology team.

 

As a veteran in the field, I often reflect on the extensive demands technologists must comply with in our current healthcare environment. Effectively managing patient throughput has always been a challenge for technologists, but today we face even greater pressure to serve as many people as possible, putting personalized care at risk. We also face unprecedented technical complexity. The need to stay up-to-date on the latest technology while acquiring the right diagnostic-quality images in a timely manner and delivering a positive patient experience – all takes place in an environment that emphasizes volume and often struggles to provide ample resources and staff.

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Radiology

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