American healthcare in the 21st century has strayed pretty far from single facility hospitals where patients were forced by geography to seek care at the closest medical facility. Now, patients have rights and the ability to chose (to some degree) their medical provider and facility of choice. Healthcare is a multi-trillion dollar industry that, just like any other business, is dependent on the clients served. For this reason, every healthcare interaction, from the phone triage to the admission process down to the quality of facility housekeeping plays a part in patient satisfaction. Not only does this contribute to how willing a patient is to recommend your services, but many studies have proven that quality patient care results in better patient outcomes and fewer readmissions.
While ultrasound may seem like a minor part of the patient experience and the ultrasound gel used may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, to the patient, the ultrasound is the only area of focus at the moment and many more patients remember the experience than those that don’t. What do many people remember about an ultrasound? The anxiety of what they may or may not see, the cold gel slathered all over them, the sticky residue that reminded them of the experience the rest of the day, and the results the received later. While there is nothing that you can do to change the results, the rest of the memories can be influenced to ensure a positive experience, regardless of the outcome.
Help Ease the Patient’s Anxiety
For the most part, there is little that you can do to help reduce the anxiety patients feel when they are facing any diagnostic test. Even if the ultrasound is to reveal the sex of their unborn child, there is still a certain level of anxiety that should be anticipated. If the ultrasound is for something potentially more serious such as searching for cancerous lumps in breast tissue or diagnosing a troublesome gallbladder, the anxiety is well deserved. To help ease the anxiety your patients feel, be sure to speak to them. Acknowledge their fears and let them know what to expect from the procedure. Maintain a positive demeanor, even if you see something troublesome on the ultrasound screen. If allowed by your facility, you can point out areas of interest — “here is your intestine, you can see the lining here.”
Make Your Patients Comfortable
Many facilities take this suggestion as far as they can by painting ceiling tiles into beautiful art or decorating rooms with interesting things to look at. During an ultrasound, you can make sure that the room is nice and warm since your patient’s skin will be exposed and slathered in ultrasound gel. If able, you can dim the lights and play soothing music. If you cannot alter the environment, you can make sure that the table that will be used is clean and comfortable, provide your patient a pillow and a sheet, or if your facility allows, you can also provide a warmed blanket!
Use the Right Ultrasound Gel
Two of the four things that people remember about the ultrasound experience include the ultrasound gel itself! Remembering how cold the ultrasound gel was is an easy, avoidable memory! Warmed ultrasound gel is an easy way to make the ultrasound experience more comfortable and increase patient satisfaction. Additionally, using ultrasound gel that remains viscous for the duration of the procedure helps to keep things smooth (literally) and reduces friction and pull on the patient’s skin. It also helps to prevent reapplication, which saves your facility money. When ultrasound gel remains smooth and jelly, it prevents drying, flaking, and that uncomfortable sticky residue once the gel has been wiped off and the procedure complete.
EcoVue® Ultrasound Gel by HR Pharmaceuticals is a high-quality, affordable ultrasound gel that is able to boast its revolutionary features. Unlike other ultrasound gels, EcoVue® maintains its acoustic velocity, even when heated for patient comfort! The 99% natural formula lends to a thinner, lighter gel that spreads more evenly and doesn’t lose its efficacy during the procedure but cleans up easily. Additionally, you can put your patient’s minds to rest because EcoVue® is safe to use on even the most sensitive skin. It contains no parabens or Propylene Glycol (PG), both of which may be harmful to the body.
When you have the right tools, you can improve the patient experience, the patient outcome, and improve patient satisfaction scores for your facility. Overall, this means more business for your facility and higher quality of care. Warmed, quality ultrasound gel should be the standard of care for all ultrasound procedure patients. If your facility does not already stock EcoVue® Ultrasound Gel, request a sample today so you can experience the EcoVue difference.