Leica Biosystems working in partnership with Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), conducted process assessments to analyze the timeliness treatment for breast cancer patients. We identified a lack of standardized processes for conduction of imaging services and elongated time to diagnosis. The Breast Imaging and Reporting Data System (BI-RADs) is the standardized method to record findings on imaging studies. A primary area of concern was identified in patients receiving a BI-RADs rating of “0”. A BI-RAD 0 means the patient requires additional imaging to make a final determination as to radiologic findings, thus contributing to the timeliness to treatment.


Leica Biosystems’ team of clinical and process experts spent time observing processes, from the time a patient entered the imaging suite, until the time their diagnosis and treatment plan were ready for delivery. Data and information collected from SOMC showed the time from receipt of an imaging BI-RAD of 0 to a final BI-RAD rating took an average of 26.10 days. Data from The Advisory Board sites a national average of 6.5 days.

A multi-disciplinary team of process and SOMC clinical experts implemented the following process improvements: utilization of lean principles for patient management, better coordination of staff and radiologist schedules, standardizing the process for prior authorizations, and confirming appropriate metrics are monitored.


Data for patients with a BI-RAD of “0” to a final rating


Average of 26.10 days; Median of 16.5 days


Average of 7.5 days; Median of 6.5 days


Patients will receive more timely care and experience less anxiety by expediting care through the imaging process. Applying lean principles of process improvement and implementing internal changes will result in improved timeliness and efficiency with care delivery.

This reference document is presented as a service to health care professionals by Leica Biosystems and has been compiled from available literature. Although every effort has been made to report faithfully the information, Leica Biosystems cannot be held responsible for the correctness. This document is not intended to be, and should not be construed as medical advice. For any use, the product information guides, inserts and operation manuals of the various drugs and devices should be consulted. Leica Biosystems and the editors disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of drugs, devices, techniques or procedures described in this reference document.