Texas Children’s Radiology Department is taking part in an initiative to create a better patient experience. After noticing access to radiology services was becoming more difficult, the department took on an initiative called Creating a Remarkable Experience, C.A.R.E. The initiative targeted several areas for improvement.
The first step was getting patients an appointment time. The team realized there were multiple points of entry for a patient family seeking a radiology appointment. Each campus offering these appointments was using a different scheduling method, creating a different patient experience from campus-to-campus.
The department looked at the best methods for easy access. One phone line was created which directs patients to a group of schedulers who can make an appointment at any of the three sites providing radiology services, including Main Campus, West Campus or the Pavilion for Women. The number, 832-TC4-XRAY (832-824-9729), gives patients one phone line with access to all scheduling.
“Since we implemented our new and improved scheduling system, patients have better access to our services. We’re able to better accommodate their schedules and get their radiology examinations performed in a timely manner,” said Dr. George Bisset, chief of Pediatric Radiology. “All of this has a direct impact on patient satisfaction.”
The initiative looked at cycle times and determined how to reduce the percentage of times the MRI cases were started late. After making a few adjustments to scheduling patients and the patient flow, the team went from experiencing 73 percent late starts to 27 percent. Wait time in nuclear radiology went from more than 100 minutes to 22 minutes.
“Once we were able to streamline the process to schedule patients, we wanted to ensure that our patients continued to have excellent service when they arrived at our doors,” said Maryam El-Bakry, the initiative lead. “Our patient families’ time is valuable and we wanted to avoid having long waits and provide the best service.”
The department also took on a major clean out of the radiology areas across the system to reorganize and follow joint-commission standards. Bisset believes the new initiative allows the team to be better prepared, and reenergized about their roles in patient care.