Happy customers often turn into repeat customers. More importantly, they tell their friends about their positive experience. This is true for any business, including medical imaging.
James Lipcamon, imaging services manager for East Cooper Medical Center in Charleston South Carolina, shared his experiences with Diagnostic Imaging. “[In] a competitive market, patient satisfaction is critical because word-of-mouth drives a lot of health care business. Someone has a bad experience with you, they’ll tell 10 people. If they have a good one, they’ll tell three or four.”
Positive patient experiences are directly tied to the bottom line when it comes to medical imaging. So what can you do to increase the patient satisfaction in your medical imaging facility?
An Ear and a Heart for Patient Care
Consistent feedback from patients is crucial to fostering positive experiences, especially when a sizeable percentage of your patient population are “regular customers.”
Sarah Mager – CT Supervisor for St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford Connecticut – has an ear for her patients’ concerns and takes their experience to heart. “The patient comes first,” she told us. “Our cancer patients are the most vulnerable and they make up 25% of our patient population. Some of them are scanned every three or six months, so they’ve become pretty familiar with what to expect.”
A couple of years ago, her patients were receiving a barium sulfate suspension for their abdominal pelvic exams. Their experience with the oral contrast agent left a bad taste in their mouth.
“Our cancer patients struggled the most with the side effects, diarrhea being the worst. It really breaks your heart because they would go to the bathroom, have diarrhea, and get embarrassed. Then they’d be afraid to come back to our facility because of the stuff we made them drink.”
She switched to a water soluble oral contrast and tried to mask the bitter taste with powdered drinks. “We would mix up the contrast with Crystal Lite®. But when you have a lot of patients it gets tedious and it wasn’t always the cleanest solution. It also wasn’t very effective.”
A Simple Change – Dramatic Experience
In April of 2017, Sarah started using Breeza® Flavored Beverage for use with oral iodinated contrast, a sugar-free, gluten-free, tropical fruit-flavored beverage designed by a radiologist to mask the bitterness of oral contrast. The impact on the facility and patient experience was immediately visible.
“Our patients are loving it,” she said. “I hear a lot of ‘thank you’s’ and ‘oh my God, this is so good!’ Things you never hear from people drinking contrast but because of Breeza they’re able to drink it all. That just makes my day because I’m all about making the patients as comfortable as possible and giving them the best experience.”
Word has spread fast about their new protocol. “Our ‘regular customers’ have been telling others about their positive experiences and our great patient care. Now we have patients that will come here instead of the facility down the street because of what we're drinking. With healthcare as competitive as it is, that's a big thing! That’s more business and a better bottom line for us.”
If taste is keeping you from retaining regular patients and affecting your facility's bottom line, it may be time to review your drinking protocol.
To learn more about Breeza, contact Beekley Medical at 1-800-233-5539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.