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How to Improving The Ultrasound Patient Experience?

May. 12, 22

SonoBook 9

SonoBook 9

Before starting any test with ultrasound machines, make sure your patient is as comfortable as possible. Ask if they need to visit the restroom, or get a drink of water, before proceeding. Once they're lying on the scanner table, ask again if they're comfortable. Do your best to accommodate them. If they're feeling discomfort from anything that can't be changed, ensure the patient that you'll finish the scan as soon as possible.


Reducing stress and anxiety contributes to patient satisfaction with their diagnostic experience and overall healthcare journey. Satisfied patients are more trusting of the medical advice they receive and are more inclined to follow it. This could lead to better clinical outcomes and reputation for the facility or hospital, which in turn could help attract more patients and referrals–and satisfaction for the diagnostic professional.


1. Build a friendly relationship and rapport with your patient

Conversation can go a long way in reassuring them. Begin by asking about themselves, but don't worry that you need to be superficial. They're likely to be experiencing anxiety about the scan or procedure and may not verbalize it. Be sure to ask them. Ask how they're feeling and address any fears they may have. Reassure them you'll take good care of them during their appointment. And just because you're wearing a mask doesn't mean you don't need to smile. A genuine smile is expressed in the eyes, so be sure to face them whenever you can.


2. Provide plenty of information about the procedure

The more informed your patient feels, the less anxious they will be. Describe what they can expect from the scan, including sights and sounds. Explain why the test is necessary and how long it should take. You should also ask your patient if they have any questions and provide the best answers you can. And be sure to address the topic early rather than have them bring it up at a point where it could disrupt a procedure or scan. Information can be empowering. The more they know, the more in-control they'll feel.


3. Keep Reactions Limited

It's one of the worst feelings in the world in this profession: you're conducting a sequence when you see something that is definitely not good news for the patient.

If you've been doing this long enough, you definitely know what kind of images in an ultrasound machine betrays a likely problem with the patient's health. It's not necessarily our job, however, to communicate what we see in these images to the patient; instead, it's up to us to capture them, provide initial judgment and send our findings to the physician, who ultimately has to discuss the results with the patient.

You have to get really comfortable with continuing your train of conversation with the patient even while imaging an abnormality that will no doubt have a serious impact on their health. It's pretty difficult to mask your reaction when that happens, especially early in your career, but it's essential so as not to cause the patient undue or potentially unnecessary worry.

That's not to say you can't be honest. A sentence like “It looks like we have an abnormality here that your physician is probably going to want to look at” is acceptable, particularly if the patient has questions. “I'm 99% sure this is a tumor” is not acceptable. It's all about walking the fine line between empowering the patient with information about their condition while not steering them down one way of thinking before they have a chance to speak with their doctor.


4. Technology

As technology improves, having the right system in place can go a long way toward improving the patient experience as well. All the things you like about the newest ultrasound systems on the market are also the things that benefit your patients. It makes your job easier, and it also gets the patient in and out of the exam room more quickly too, and that's something they'll always appreciate.

As image detail becomes better and better, the need for lengthy attempts to capture the image or schedule additional exams becomes less and less. More than ever, sonographers are able to capture precisely what the radiologist needs on the first try.

One other technological development that's dramatically improving the patient experience is the increased depth penetration available on modern systems. The increased penetration makes the exam easier for sonographer and patient alike and can reduce exam times.


XBit 90

XBit 90

CHISON continuously develops and manufactures high-quality Diagnostic Ultrasound machines that benefit millions of Practitioners and Patients. CHISON aims to make cutting-edge technology and state of the art diagnostic imaging experience more accessible and affordable. If you are interested in our products, please contact us now!

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