The stories of true heroes who have worked their way to the peak of their successes with their own two hands are always welcome to readers who believe that with patience, confidence, and enough effort, they too can accomplish and become stronger versions of themselves.
Such is the story that we are proposing to our esteemed Top Doctor Magazine readers today, the story of a registered nurse who, using her business administration superpowers, climbed to the top of the ladder and became Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Premier Radiology. However, Tori Thompson, who started at Premier Radiology in March 2009, kept her humble spirit and still puts on the scrubs almost daily, regardless of her current position. “I still wear scrubs many days of the week, and I will go work in the clinic, alongside the staff. I think that it is important to have that perspective as a COO, to understand every process, from scheduling to registration, to completing an MRI or a CT study. Placing yourself in the staff’s shoes, gives an insight into workflow, which enables me to create better practices.
“Our Number One Priority Is Patient Care”
To help expand a company and see it flourish, one truly must understand how every single wheel sustains the entire mechanism, beginning with the smaller yet fundamental one: the patient. “Our number one priority is patient care, and taking care of the patients as efficiently and as best that we can.” What does this translate into at Premier Radiology? “If that means we need to stay open later or come in earlier, that’s what we do. We truly strive to accommodate the patient” The genuine willingness “to treat each patient as if they are a member of our family” is what guides Tori and Premier Radiology to success.
“The Eyes into the Patient”
Patients seek out Premier Radiology’s services to get a superior grasp of the state of their bodies as a whole, to learn which parts are in good shape and which one might be a little rusty. As such, radiology takes the patient on a journey from diagnosis to creating their care plan.
However, for Premier Radiology, their mission is more than X-rays and CT scans; it’s about “establishing a relationship with the patient even before they step foot in the door.” Tori describes how Premier Radiology invests in its relationship with patients both before and after their appointments: “We have created a patient follow-up module, which allows us to track patients who need any type of follow-up imaging. If the patient missed their follow-up window, we notify their referring physician. Since the follow-up module’s inception, we have successfully scheduled 205,000 patients for imaging that may have otherwise slipped through the cracks. “
For Tori, going the extra mile for each patient has been the secret behind Premier Radiology’s success. She understood the fact that a more human approach to patient care, where small gestures such as a confirmation phone call can make the patient feel more appreciated and respected:
“Something that sets us apart from other imaging practices, is that our technologists do their own confirmation calls. This allows the technologist to establish a relationship with the patient, and to answer any questions related to their study, before they even make it to the clinic.”
Although such a human approach towards patient care is not necessarily the rule of thumb during these unpredictable times, Tori believes that Premier Radiology’s recovery from the first harsh months of the pandemic stems mainly from patients who trusted their attachment to safety and superior patient care. “During the peak of Covid, many practices were closing their doors to screening exams. Premier worked to establish new protocols and practices, which enabled us to continue operating in a safe, and efficient manner. We felt that it was important to establish an enhanced sense of trust and comfort for the patient.”
“We Never Turn Away a Patient”
What lies ahead for Tori and Premier Radiology? As she tells us, “We never turn a patient away, for inability to pay” is Premier Radiology’s motto, and they do intend to stick by it as a mainstay of the company. “We always want people to feel like they can have a study done, because these studies are very important. We don’t feel that a patient should delay care because they can’t pay their $10 copay or $200 copay, whatever the cost may be.”
With the addition of eight brand-new locations opening up in the Wisconsin market, further plans to expand the Tennessee and Florida markets, and established partnerships with Radiology Partners and Ascension, Premier Radiology is sure to experience constant growth and a prominent presence within the market.