The Costly Consequences of Patient Discomfort

Women who receive routine pelvic examinations are often met with uncomfortable experiences. Many medical practices and facilities tend to leave their patients feeling anxious, tense, and overtly unsatisfied. On the surface, patient discomfort seems like just a momentary inconvenience; however, continued patient discomfort can lead to pricey consequences endured by medical practices.

There are several factors that can influence a patient’s comfort levels before, during, or after a pelvic examination. If a patient must wait long after her scheduled appointment time due to poor time keeping, she may experience anxiety. If a patient feels like she cannot properly communicate with medical staff or her assigned physician, she may experience frustration. If a patient is rushed or dismissed without feeling like she understands a diagnosis or exam information, she may experience stress. Finally, if a patient must undergo an uncomfortable, loud, or awkward examination due to the devices used on her, she will most certainly feel discomfort.

When it comes down to it, patients can influence the revenue generated by a particular medical practice. Moreover, patients can add to the overall costs a practice will incur over time.

Repeat Examinations

If one pelvic examination is not completed due to a stressed patient, the physician must conduct the exam again at some point in time. For example, a younger patient may not be familiar with the details of a routine examination; therefore, the examination can be unsuccessful if the physician does not thoroughly prepare the patient or complete the exam without distractions that compromise the patient’s position. The young patient will then have to sit through an exam once more or return to the office when she is less anxious, ultimately costing the practice excess time and resources.

Decreased Patient Attendance

A patient may have a negative experience at an appointment that included a pelvic examination. That being said, the patient could avoid making future appointments or leave the practice altogether if that initial discomfort is traumatic. Medical practices already struggle to retain patients. They do not need the extra burden of patient discomfort to contribute to general revenue loss.

Negative Buzz

Word travels fast. As soon as a patient experiences discomfort at a medical appointment, she will share it with her peers or loved ones. The patient may communicate her experience verbally or on a public forum where potential new patients can see.

How can medical practices combat the consequences of patient discomfort? At the very least, they can invest in modern devices that facilitate comfortable patient experiences. Cyalume Medical’s SpecuLume EZ is a single-use speculum with chemiluminescence that was designed to prioritize patient comfort while catering to physician needs during a pelvic examination. The SpecuLume EZ is offered in small, medium, and large sizes, all of which are perfectly adaptable to any patient’s proportions. Also, the device’s single middle bolt silently elevates and securely locks the upper blade, eliminating the annoying ratcheting noise that other speculums have that causes patient discomfort. It is comfortable, quiet, and cost-effective.

To request a sample of the SpecuLume EZ, contact Cyalume Medical today.

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