By Jay Juffre

Let’s face it, when people go to the doctor, the test, visit or procedure they are having results in receiving either good news or bad news. Several years back, I received a phone call from a customer with a unique request. One of this person’s responsibilities was to oversee the imaging department at the hospital. “Can you get us Boca Terry robes for the patients who come in for their mammograms? We want to create a spa like experience.” Well, I had to see this. Upon arriving, my contact showed me a renovated area that truly did look like an upscale Day Spa – complete with laminate hardwood floors, dim lighting, and posh furniture in the waiting area. He was right. The patient gowns we had been delivering for years, would no longer work in this environment. When I told him of course we would be able to help him, but that embroidered robes were going to cost him much more, he simply stared at me. After a few moments, he replied (and this is when I really got it) “Jay, I don’t care what it costs, I care about how women will feel when they come here for a mammogram.” Getting any test, including an annual cancer screening, can be stressful. In the back of someone’s mind, they are always thinking, I hope this goes ‘ok’. Focusing on how patients feel during these times is extremely important and goes directly to the human experience we are all trying to influence. Punchline of the story is interesting. About 9 months after we introduced the robes at this client, another customer, in another hospital called me to complain. “Jay, we are losing patients to hospital X, it seems they are giving patient’s Boca Terry robes!” I kept the fact that it was my company providing the robes close to the vest. But it is clear, focusing on how you make patients feel, can have a dramatic impact on overall perception of your organization.

Jay Juffre is Executive Vice President, ImageFIRST. For more information on ImageFIRST, call 1-800-932-7472 or visit