When patients feel stressed or apprehensive, they are more likely to engage in behaviors that result in low-value images due to motion artifacts or incomplete scans. This is especially true in MR, where all patients confront a confined space, loud noise, and a relatively prolonged exam time. When we consider these obstacles, it’s no surprise that up to 15 percent of patients suffer from claustrophobia during an MRI examination1 – or that one in five MR studies requires a repeat scan due to patient motion.2 The question is, how do we engage innovative technology to effectively put patients at ease and maintain workflow, all while running a cost–effective service?
Research has shown a strong correlation between a positive patient experience, clinical effectiveness, and patient safety.3 At the Lahey Outpatient Center in Danvers, Massachusetts, we have implemented a patient-centric approach in our MRI service that has changed the way we view imaging.
In general, MRI exams are very sensitive to patient motion. Any motion can distort the exam, making it difficult to acquire high-quality images. The Philips Ambient Experience MR In-bore Solution was designed to help patients relax and hold still during an MRI examination. In our MRI suite at Lahey, this service innovation has enabled us to support patients with a calming MRI experience that gives them a sense of participation and control during the procedure. The Ambient Experience suite takes a holistic approach to addressing patient comfort from start to finish, through features such as soft dynamic lighting, sound and video projection. This creates a soothing, interactive atmosphere and encourages relaxation before and during the scan.
Additionally, advanced imaging sequences, such as mDIXON XD and Multivane XD, help us decrease exam times to further support patient comfort. mDIXON XD allows our technologists to obtain two sequences simultaneously. Multivane XD provides motion correction to a full range of anatomies, in short scan times. Both applications promote staff efficiency and confidence, which is a critical part of providing a positive patient experience.