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How Oral Contrast Affects Departmental Throughput in Enterography

by Jonathan McCullough

Radiology is one of the most affected hospital departments by patient cancellations according to the article, "The Financial Burden of Missed Appointments: Uncaptured Revenue Due to Outpatient No-Shows in Radiology." In fact, radiology loses more uncaptured revenue per patient visit than primary care or other practices.

While there are many reasons patients may need to reschedule appointments, if an imaging department is performing enterography studies the culprit may be the drinking protocol. 

Barium sulfate suspension and drinking compliance: chalky, thick, hard to get down

Small bowel enterography exams require the patient to consume a large quantity of oral contrast (between 1,000mL and 1,500mL) for optimal bowel distention and lumen visualization.

Some imaging centers use a barium suspension as their primary oral contrast agent for their drinking protocol and have testified to poor patient tolerance of the viscous, chalky contrast. 

Patients who have difficulty drinking the contrast often need coaching from medical staff, an NG tube placement, and more challenging patients are rescheduled. 

17% of responders to a 2020 survey of imaging departments confirmed that they rescheduled patients if they could not complete the drinking protocol for their enterography exam. 

Each of these rescheduled appointments is revenue lost – but what if patient tolerance could be improved by using a more palatable oral contrast agent?

Used to dread MRE until switch to Breeza 

Imaging clinics using Breeza® flavored beverage for neutral abdominal/pelvic imaging responded to a questionnaire to share their experience in changing contrast agents. The sugar- and gluten-free, lemon-lime flavored beverage was rated more favorably among surveyed imaging departments.

An MRI technologist from Corpus Christi, TX, shared that his department averages 2 patients a month for eneterography and that they dreaded doing MRE because it was so hard to get patients to drink. 

They commented that with Breeza flavored beverage for neutral abdominal/pelvic imaging “it is a ‘breeze’ to get the patients to drink. We also don’t have to worry about the patient having to get up to use the bathroom mid-exam anymore because it is much easier on their tummies. It’s made a world of difference with patient compliance, decreasing our time prepping and exam time. In fact, we’re able to schedule more enterography studies now.”

Easier to drink, scheduling is easy, less cancellations 

A radiology manager from Nashua, NH, stated that “Breeza has made a big difference when it comes to patients following the drinking protocol. Patients regularly tell us how easy it is to drink compared to our previous oral contrast. Now, scheduling patients for enterography studies is easier and we’ve experienced less cancellations.”

In addition to better drinking compliance, facilities that use Breeza flavored beverage for neutral abdominal/pelvic imaging are also seeing improved throughput and patient satisfaction with their enterography exams. 

An MRI technologist in Baltimore commented, “We see 15 to 20 patients a month for enterography studies and they prefer the taste of Breeza over our previous contrast agent. Children drink it better and hold it down thanks to the lemon-lime flavor. With patients completing the drinking protocol, we can provide a better diagnosis because of Breeza for Neutral Abdominal/Pelvic Imaging.

Less coaching, less cleanup, able to stay on schedule  

“Our staff can focus on other tasks at hand instead of coaching and cleaning up from the patient getting sick. Knowing we are giving them something more palatable to our patients eliminates the risk of falling behind with our exams.”

And a clinical manager at a busy Cleveland, OH, imaging center also commented on how well Breeza worked with pediatric patients. “Our facility performs 40 to 50 enterography exams per month and Breeza is especially helpful with pediatric patients. “We were able to decrease preparation time from 2 hours to 1 hour and reduce the time patients spend in the waiting room. We have a higher retention rate, just as promised, and patients love the taste and texture.”

To learn how Breeza flavored beverage for neutral abdominal/pelvic imaging can help you minimize lost revenue from rescheduled exams in enterography, contact your Business Development Manager at 1-800-233-5539 or email [email protected]

 

Related articles: 

Sealing the Leaky Revenue Bucket in Small Bowel Enterography

What’s the Right Drinking Protocol for Enterography?

Current Trends in Small Bowel Imaging

Cincinnati Children’s Compares Two Neutral Oral Contrast Agents

NG Placements: When Pediatric Patients Can’t Drink the Contrast

Taste, Texture, and Patient Toleration in Enterography Prep

Small Bowel Enterography: Protocols of the Experts

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