ella health was launched with the primary goal of getting more women to get mammograms. So often, we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves. But we knew it’s not just “forgetfulness” that stands in the way of women getting this important breast screening test.
We had our ideas about what those barriers are, but we wanted to hear from the people we are trying to reach. In order to do that, we had focus groups to find out what women really want. You will probably not be surprised by the results since it’s what we all talk about, and joke about, when it comes to this test. To put it mildly, it’s just not fun.
The most important thing we discovered with the focus groups is that women said they would be more likely to come in for a mammogram if the experience could be improved, which is exactly what ella health has done.
The key points that emerged from the focus groups were:
• Warmth is welcome. One of the things women dislike most is how cold the room and equipment often are. We’ve turned up the heat, literally. Our rooms are kept at a comfortable temperature and we provide soft, heated robes. For the test, we use pads that make the procedure more comfortable.
• A caring attitude matters. We agree. Getting a mammogram can be a frightening and nerve-inducing experience. We believe patients should be treated with courtesy and respect that goes deeper than a nice smile and a few kind words. We want you to know that your health really matters to us.
• Quick results are important. We’d like to be able to give them immediately, but the technology isn’t there just yet. We are able to get answers to patients often with 24 hours and no later than 48 hours.
The focus groups also revealed some alarming misperceptions about mammograms that could be a barrier. These include:
Insurance companies need to approve where I get a screening mammogram.
Fact: You can choose where you want to go.
I need a prescription or referral to get a screening mammogram.
Fact: You do not need a prescription or referral, although you do need to tell us where to send the results.
I have to pay a co-payment for mammogram.
Fact: Under federal health care reform, most insurance companies are required to cover screening mammograms completely.
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