In today’s healthcare landscape, where patients are empowered to take control and make informed decisions regarding their care, the patient experience is more important than ever.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a focus on improving the patient experience is crucial for delivering patient-centered care. The AHRQ says this approach has the potential to promote patient adherence to medical advice and reduce unnecessary healthcare services, ultimately resulting in better outcomes for patients.
To achieve this patient-first approach, healthcare facilities must make thoughtful investments in the right medical technologies, not only for organizational success but also to improve outcomes.
Improving the Patient Mammography Experience
For breast cancer screenings, patients want a quick, easy, and comfortable experience, along with the reassurance that their results will be accurate. This can mean minimizing the number of times patients have to come back for additional testing or reducing the time needed for a procedure. Fortunately, advancements in breast health technology have made it possible to streamline processes and reduce unnecessary callbacks without sacrificing accuracy.
The right technology can play a critical role in improving patient experience. Advanced tools like digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) have revolutionized the patient experience. Research shows that DBT improves breast cancer detection rates, reduces callbacks for false positives, and is proven to be superior for women with dense breasts, as compared to 2D mammography., A facility’s thoughtful investment in a DBT system can not only help alleviate patient worries associated with unnecessary follow-ups, but also potentially improve their outcomes. As a result, patients are more likely to comply with their treatment plans, follow up on recommended procedures, and maintain regular screenings when they are confident in the quality of care that they receive.
Some women find traditional mammograms to be uncomfortable because of the discomfort associated with compression. The fear of experiencing pain often becomes a reason why women choose not to prioritize getting their mammograms. This can lead to potential cancer cases being missed or diagnosed at a later, more advanced stage, which can reduce patients’ treatment options and impact their overall outcomes. Recognizing the role pain plays in delayed mammography screening, medical technology companies have developed improved mammography systems that help to reduce discomfort by using a curved compression paddle. By conforming to the shape of the breast, these innovative compression paddles offer women a more comfortable mammogram experience by applying uniform compression and reducing pinching. Not only does a more comfortable mammogram experience have the potential to impact breast screening compliance, but it can also drive decision making about where to seek breast care. In fact, 49% of women reported they would switch facilities for a more comfortable mammogram.
Patient-First Care in Breast Biopsy
In cases where a patient needs to return for a breast biopsy, clinicians can enhance the patient experience by leveraging wire-free localization paired with a superior biopsy experience. Wire-free localization provides patients with increased flexibility in scheduling their procedures by uncoupling the radiology procedure from surgery, making it more convenient for both the patient and the center. Additionally, it provides a more patient-friendly experience compared to traditional hard wire localization, which is known to cause some patients discomfort or even accidentally dislodge prior to the procedure.
Once a patient has undergone localization, facilities can expedite the breast biopsy process and make it more comfortable. In the past, breast biopsy procedures were more time-consuming and may have required multiple appointments. However, modern breast biopsy systems that feature real-time imaging enable physicians and technologists to verify and gather their samples in fewer steps with confidence, as they can visually confirm in real-time that they retrieved what they needed. For example, the Brevera breast biopsy system has the potential to save an average of 12 minutes per patient, allowing for a streamlined and efficient experience that does not compromise accuracy or quality. Furthermore, the real-time verification functionality can potentially enable clinicians to take fewer samples compared to traditional breast biopsy. This time reduction can significantly improve the overall patient experience, reducing the stress and anxiety that may occur when waiting for findings.
Ultimately, the technology you invest in will have significant implications for the patient experience, their comfort, and their outcomes. However, choosing the right technology partner is often just as important as choosing the right technology. You need more than a vendor; You need a partner who will support you along each step and work closely with your healthcare center to find the best solutions. It is important to look for a company that is strongly committed to innovation, has a proven track record, and provides comprehensive customer support that fits your unique needs.
Advancements in technology have propelled the breast health industry forward while improving the patient experience. With a patient-centric approach, supported by thoughtful investments in advanced technologies and the right technology partner, medical institutions can build trust and confidence, streamline processes, improve accuracy, and create a more comfortable experience across the breast health continuum—and that underscores the importance of strategic investments in patient-centric technologies to bolster the future success of facilities.
Erik Anderson has served as President, Breast & Skeletal Health Solutions since September 2022. He joined Hologic’s Breast & Skeletal Health Division in 2014 as Regional Sales Manager for the Upper Midwest, then was promoted to Area Business Director. In 2017, Mr. Anderson took over as Vice President of Sales for Hologic’s Medical Aesthetics business amid turbulent times, stabilizing and rebuilding the team while also impacting the broader business, leading to his promotion to President of Medical Aesthetics in 2019. He led the business while also leading Hologic’s divestiture of Cynosure and its transition to new ownership. Erik rejoined Hologic as Vice President, Global Service Initiative and Breast & Skeletal Health Field Service/Technical Support in early 2020, and promoted to President, Global Services in August 2021. Prior to joining Hologic, Mr. Anderson worked at ImpediMed and Stryker Instruments. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Iowa State University, where he was a 4-year letter winner and captain of the football team.