This review is about the LIRA location at 37-08 28th Avenue.
My wife had two appointments here, one week apart. I went with her, as we had a new one-month-old baby who was breast feeding and needed to stay close to mommy.
The first visit:
We were told upon arrival that the technician who ran the scanner decided to ""not show up today."" They gave us the option of rescheduling, which was not possible for us. The other option was to call a car service for us, and send us to the Elmont office. They promised this would take 20 minutes, the car would wait for us, and then drop us off at home. It took 1 hour to get to the Elmont location, the driver refused to wait, and it took another 1.5 hours to call another car service and get back home.
I should point out here that the staff at the Elmont facility was very professional and accommodating, and we have no complaints about them.
This time the technician was there. We waited in a completely empty waiting room for 45 minutes past the appointment time, with no explanation. When we asked for one, we were just told my wife would be seen soon. During this time, the technician and receptionist repeatedly left the building and came back, which was odd.
When my wife finally went in, she was put into a very constraining MRI machine. She had some claustrophobia, but the staff was not aware, because they never thought to ask. They simply stuck her in the machine and left, giving her no information about how long the procedure would take. While she lay there, trying to stay calm, the staff talked and laughed loudly in the control room. This carrying on could be heard in the waiting room, in the MRI room, etc. They made absolutely no attempt to ensure her comfort or even ask about it. They also did not give her the emergency squeeze-ball, which would alert them if she needed to be removed from the scanner. The scans lasted about 40 minutes, during which time the staff continually joked and laughed with each other.
Meanwhile, I was in the waiting room, trying to soothe my infant daughter. At this point, the receptionist at the front desk was carrying on in the back control room. Another patient arrived, signed in, and graciously waited 45 minutes. The staff had no idea that this patient was there, as no one came out to check on the waiting room. At one point she needed to use the bathroom, and had to literally shout down the hallway to get someone's attention. The technician came out, visibly annoyed that his joking around had been interrupted, and showed her where the bathroom was. This patient was also kept waiting at least 45 minutes past her appointment time with no explanation.
Although our experience was complicated with a crying baby, the baby is not the staff's fault. However, the staff at the Elmont location went out of their way to help us out with our situation, while the staff in the Astoria location made no attempt to even acknowledge our presence.
So, to sum up:
Elmont office - great.
37-08 28th Avenue office - horrendous, due to:
- being kept waiting an extremely long time with no explanation
- zero customer service skills
- unprofessional conduct regarding MRI protocol
- unprofessional conduct regarding basic decency toward patients
My own profession is research MRI. If I, or anyone else in any lab I've worked in, behaved in this manner toward patients, there would be serious consequences. Not only is the patient's comfort a matter of basic human decency, but it is crucial to obtaining good quality images. The failure of this staff to give my wife an emergency squeeze-ball during a 40 minute session is simply beyond conception to any MRI professional.
We complained to the doctor who referred us to this MRI office, who took our complaint seriously and will think twice before sending patients here again. If your doctor suggested you visit this office, it is in your best interest to ask the doctor for a different referral.