Twitter is a pretty awesome thing. It’s a platform that lets us communicate with our friends, share what we’re doing, express how we feel, comment on current events, and incite laughter. It’s where we can (and usually do) share about absolutely anything and everything we are experiencing.
It turns out that sometimes this information can actually be useful, and in ways you probably wouldn’t ever imagine. Researchers and doctors around the world are turning to Twitter to learn more about the MRI experience from a patient perspective, and they’re using what they find to change their MRI process.
It all started when Jonathan Hewis, an investigator from Charles Sturt University in Australia, decided to start analyzing tweets related to MRI. He found that patients, friends, and family were all using Twitter to share their thoughts and feelings about many different aspects of the procedure including the MRI appointment, scan experience, and diagnosis.
Some people tweeted sentiments of support to their friends who were having MRI’s, some patients used Twitter to praise their healthcare team or talk about their MRI results, and many others tweeted specifics about what they enjoyed or disliked about their MRI experience. There were also an overwhelming amount of “MRI gown selfies” added to the mix.
So why do doctors want you to tweet about your MRI experience? Because it helps provide insight that they wouldn’t normally be able to get. It’s a way for them to understand what patients like and dislike about the process, and it can give them tips for changes to make that will improve patient experience.
For example, one of the biggest things that Hewis found patients were complaining about was the fact that they weren’t able to pick what type of music they listened to during the scan, something that’s such a small fix and goes a long way towards making the experience more enjoyable for the patient. Many centers, like our, have responded to feedback like this, and allow patients to bring in their own ipod or CD of music to listen to during the scan.
The fact of the matter is, we want you to have the best MRI experience you can possibly have, and if there are things we can do to help make that happen then we want to do them! So if you had a bad experience or if you think there’s room for improvement to the MRI process, tweet about it. Chances are someone will see it and take action. You can share your experience by tweeting to us @openmrinebraska.
You can read more about the findings of the original research on Biospace.