A commitment to customer service is reflected in the waiting room aesthetics as well as the group?s focus on reducing patient wait times.
The Fredericksburg region is growing and thriving. Its proximity to Washington, DC allows for a pairing of city-based work and play combined with the history and community afforded in small-town America.
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg (MIF), a partnership between Mary Washington Healthcare and Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg (RAF), responded and planned for the region’s growth through investments in state-of-the-art imaging technology, dedicated, high-quality physicians, and superior customer service. Like the pairing of city and small town, Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg’s administration and clinicians work together to bring the technology and expertise found in major metropolitan areas and the personal attention found in smaller communities.
Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg co-owns the outpatient imaging service with the regional health system, Mary Washington Healthcare. Michael McDermott, MD, Medical Director, Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, explains, “Our group is a large physician group. We’re 31 board-certified radiologists. Many of us have advanced fellowship training from some of the best fellowships in the country, in all the different subspecialties of radiology. Because we’re a group with that sort of breadth and depth, we’re able to provide our community with unique subspecialized imaging interpretation, of which we are very proud.”
It’s a high standard not only for the community but also for the referring physicians. According to Dr McDermott, “Referring physicians understand that we are a quality radiology group with the highest standards. If a patient is referred to us, their physician trusts the quality of exam they are going to get back.”
A year ago, to satisfy the growing demand for diagnostic and advanced interventional imaging procedures, the new Imaging Center for Women, a state of the art facility designed for comfort, convenience, and privacy, was opened on the Mary Washington Hospital campus.
“With the economy today,” states Barry Nielsen, clinical director of Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, “our approach has not been to move away from advanced imaging services because of the challenges in reimbursement. Rather than downsize our amount of services, we have prepared for growth. The radiology group and the health system worked together to find the right space to house a women’s services suite on one floor in a central and convenient location for the community. The combination of the aesthetics, the technology and the staff make it a really good combination.”
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg is comprised of four facilities and 31 board-certified radiologists.
Mr Nielsen mentioned that Dr Pam Warren, one of the radiologists in women’s services, worked in partnership with the architect to design a comforting space that would create a spa-like atmosphere. Mahogany Hart, Service Line Marketing Specialist, also explains, “She was very involved in choosing everything from the carpet, tiles, subdued wallpaper, the art pieces on the walls, an entry glass panel with pressed wild flowers. Women’s imaging is one of her passions, and she understands the subtle aesthetics needed to put our patients at ease.” Private areas allow physician and patient discussions of a very sensitive nature. The patient is able to go through their treatment plan in a patient-friendly, compassionate, organized fashion.
Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg is the largest provider of medical imaging services in the Fredericksburg region. “But what makes us unique,” says Ed Swager, CEO, Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg, “is that we’ve invested in the community, with advanced imaging technology, superior physician recruitment, 24/7 radiologist availability, and physician integration into each imaging facility. We’ve combined these aspects with the best clinical staff to provide a unique service that maximizes value to our patients and referring physicians.”
Four facilities stretch across 15 miles.
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg is the main location, housed on the hospital campus. High-end services offered are: 1.5 and 3T MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-ray, fluoroscopy, as well as a fixed PET/CT with a spacious suite design. We are very excited to offer our patients the only fixed PET/CT system in the area. This center also boasts a suite of quiet rooms, soft lighting, and comfortable music to complement its PET program.
There are key advantages to our 3T MRI system. The traditional MRI machine is a 1.5 Tesla magnet. Dr McDermott explains, “Three Tesla magnets offer advantages of having a higher resolution capability for looking at certain disease processes.” In addition to taking less time, the 3T magnet has specialized software that decreases the amount of motion visible on the images due to patient movement. “This is very beneficial to patients with Parkinson’s or other movement disorders,” Ms Hart notes.
Faster times on the table keep the patient anxiety level from going up. With shorter scan times, the 3T can maximize patient comfort without compromising quality. Dr McDermott says, “The superb reliability of high-field MRI allows our radiologists to differentiate between benign and potentially hazardous medical conditions with confidence. This allows us to provide earlier diagnosis and treatment, subsequently leading to more positive outcomes.”
Medical Imaging at Lee’s Hill supports the imaging needs of a freestanding Emergency Department as well as outpatient imaging. Built to ease claustrophobic patients and accommodate bariatric patients, this facility features a True Open MRI.
Mr Nielsen says, “Even though Fredericksburg is a smaller town, we offer high-end, cutting-edge technologies. Previously, you would have to travel to DC or Richmond to get a PET CT or a 3T MRI or a True Open MRI. We’ve stepped up to the challenge of making sure that the people in our community can come to Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg for all their imaging needs, rather than driving out of town.”
Dr McDermott adds, “As medicine tells us that these different technologies can offer advantages, we make sure that we implement them.”
This facility is adjacent to Mary Washington Healthcare’s Emergency Department at Lee’s Hill, which helps provide quality care for the community that is a further distance from the hospital campuses, with less travel time to those who require emergency services.
Imaging Center for Women is the new facility that focuses on women’s services. It offers Screening and Diagnostic Mammography, DEXA, ultrasound, and Stereotactic and Ultrasound Breast Procedures, diagnostic mammography, stereotactic ultrasound breast procedures including 3D and 4D ultrasound (also in all of Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg’s other facilities). These modalities, combined with a nurse to help coordinate the flow of patients through the health system, make care even more streamlined and personal for the facilities’ patients. One of the unique features of being a state of the art facility is offering the latest in ultrasound technology.
Dr McDermott clarifies, “There is new technology in ultrasound imaging where the transducer probes are able to do three-dimensional and four-dimensional imaging, meaning that they also take in the dimension of time. Thus creating ultrasound volumetric imaging. For instance, if you’re a pregnant woman and getting an ultrasound of your fetus, 4D ultrasound can offer additional diagnostic confidence in some of the things you might see. We’ve upgraded all of our ultrasound units to do the 3D and 4D ultrasound. We push to be very progressive.”
Medical Imaging of North Stafford is a site north of the main facility tailored for commuters. Located just off of one of the busiest commuter routes, it is a new market and very customer centric. Wait times are crucial for commuters and the average wait time for an exam, MRI, CT, ultrasound, or x-ray, is less than 15 minutes.
Patient care is consistent across the four facilities. Patients are surveyed, customer service data is analyzed, and then used to identify opportunities for improvement for both patients and physicians. “That’s how we remain on the cutting edge of customer service,” Mr Nielsen says. “We have a 97.6% positive response from our patients, and we are always trying to improve.”
Knowing that every patient is unique, with different imaging, insurance, and health challenges, our facilities offer caring customer service personnel to help patients get the information they need for their appointment with a clear understanding of their insurance, exam, and information they need to take back to their physician. Our call operations are centralized to maximize costs savings and afford improved communications to our patients, referring physicians, and employees.
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg
1201 Sam Perry Blvd, Suite 102
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg has kept up with the growing community of Fredericksburg, and makes sure to be several steps ahead on the cutting edge of progress. Taking patient care even further includes a focus on dose reduction in imaging through the Image Gently/Image Wisely programs. Awareness of radiation dosage has long been a concern among patients. CT imaging is a very valuable tool that helps save lives, and the focus of Image Gently is to make sure that every step is taken to minimize dosage in children. Image Wisely is doing the same for the adult population.
“Every decision we make is patient centered,” Mr Nielsen explains. “That goes from customer service to physician recruitment to facility development and process. Everything is centered around the patient.”
J.L. Silverman is a contributing writer for Axis Imaging News.