New Woman’s ImagingReduces Patient Anxiety and Strengthens Team
X-rays, MRI, mammograms, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and CT are all part of the comprehensive Imaging Department of the new Woman’s Hospital. Our patients will enjoy streamlined processes, advanced technology and the special Woman’s touch, but most of all, the peace of mind that comes from experience and expertise.
“For most of our patients, their priority is to get an appointment, have the test, get their results and go home,” explains Cynthia Rabalais, RT(M), Woman’s Director of Imaging Services. “All imaging will be located the hospital’s first floor directly next to the front entrance and easily accessed from the Physician Office Building; we have centralized all imaging services into one entry point and streamlined the check-in process.” Woman’s Imaging Services include seven diagnostic and screening digital mammography units, six ultrasound machines, three x-ray machines, MRI, CT and a nuclear medicine lab.
“Women are society’s main caregivers, but they also need to be taken care of during times of stress. Woman’s is going the extra step to personally escort each patient to their treatment area, explain the process and then walk them back to the main lobby,” says Rabalais. “We are there to offer reassurance.”
Patients will notice several improvements at the new campus, including more efficient screening mammography. A patient will now disrobe behind a curtain in the actual mammogram room, thereby reducing the time spent changing clothes in a locker room and sitting in the waiting area wearing a smock. “This new approach still provides women the privacy they desire, but speeds up the process of an annual mammogram,” explains Rabalais. Each mammogram room also includes a mirror, chair and a hook for hanging clothes. Aside from screening mammography, all imaging services will feature sub-waiting room areas to offer more privacy.
A diagnostic mammogram to check for a lump or take a biopsy can be particularity distressing to women, so they often bring their spouse or friend for support. Once she checks in, a woman will be escorted to a separate waiting area where she will change into a smock. The waiting area features a privacy wall, so women who prefer to sit with a male partner can do so in private.
Most women undergoing a diagnostic exam will have results either before they leave the campus or within 24 to 48 hours. Should the problem require additional examination, a woman will meet directly with Woman’s radiologists to discuss her results and next steps. This is an unprecedented level of service, assuring our patients as rapid a resolution as possible,” said Dr. Marcia Gremillion, radiologist and department chair.
“With modesty in mind, our smocks are long-sleeve with elastic wrists, dark colored, and have snaps to allow for easy cover-up,” says Rabalais. For additional patient comfort, department hallways are carpeted for noise reduction and lighting is dimmed to reduce anxiety and provide staff an environment to easily read imaging results. Patients undergoing MRI are provided earphones and music, and ultrasound patients are allowed to watch the test as it is being performed on monitors.
Woman’s always strives to provide exceptional care. At the new campus, thoughtful measures have been taken to improve efficiency, comfort and the overall patient experience. The new hospital, located at the corner of Airline Highway and Stumberg, near Pecue Lane, is scheduled to open August 5, 2012.