Patients are often nervous, stressed or anxious when attending a diagnostics appointment. There are a host of new experiences for many to cope with, in addition to concerns over a potentially serious diagnosis. Patient letters have traditionally sought to remove some of this anxiety, but more can be done to increase understanding and reduce these negative feelings. Enhancing the patient experience leads to fewer missed appointments and failed scans, ultimately saving NHS funds.
To this end the Oxford AHSN Imaging Clinical Network funded and coordinated a series of videos to take patients through the procedure and show them what their experience will look and feel like. Each one is narrated by a patient who has been through the process, adding to its credibility.
These videos cover a range of diagnostic methods. They are recorded in different locations across the Oxford AHSN region – but their messages are universal. The individual videos can be seen on trust websites and they are referenced in patient information letters. All of them can be found on the Oxford AHSN’s YouTube Channel.
Seven videos were produced between 2014 and 2017 in collaboration with OMI (Oxford Medical Illustration). By June 2021 they had collectively clocked up more than one million views on YouTube.
In the 2016 BMA Patient Information Awards the MRI scan film recorded at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon, was highly commended, while the PET-CT scan film recorded at Oxford University Hospitals was commended. This film was described as ‘excellent’ by the Royal College of Radiologists. In 2015 the first film completed in this project was awarded a silver medal in the international Institute of Medical Illustrators awards.
Feedback on the films
“When I was asked to be part of this video, I thought it was a great idea to help inform and reassure patients about what it’s like to have an MRI scan and help alleviate concerns. Other patients who have seen the video before coming for their MRI have told me it has really helped put them at ease, which is great to hear,” patient narrator Becky
“Great to demystify the experience of getting scans done, thanks to Oxford AHSN for the video”, Faculty of Radiologists, Ireland, via Twitter
“What’s having a PET-CT scan like? A patient and radiographer explain in this excellent Oxford AHSN video,” Royal College of Radiologists via Twitter
“I like how the patients were involved and their contributions. I really like how comprehensive and well-explained this resource is. The patients, and all the health professionals involved, were excellent communicators,” Judge’s citation, BMA Patient Information Awards 2016
“Patients in the film give their thoughts; this is very powerful. The language is very clear,” Judge’s citation, BMA Patient Information Awards 2016