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Identifying Process Improvements in Breast Imaging

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Mrs. Byrwa-Neff is a registered nurse with a background in both clinical nursing as well as in evidence generation in industry. Her clinical expertise lies in cardiology as well as oncology, specifically breast cancer. As a nurse, black belt in process excellence, daughter of a breast cancer patient, and survivor of breast cancer herself she brings the full patient experience to her work to improve care for breast cancer patients. Kimberly has authored numerous papers and presented improvement in clinical outcomes as a result of working with breast teams across the country.

The Leica Biosystems Process and Solutions Optimization Team partnered with the Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) in Portsmouth, Ohio to evaluate the opportunities for process improvement in their Breast Imaging Department. The hospital identified opportunities for improvement by comparing their internal data with standards and benchmarks provided by the National Consortium of Breast Centers (NCBC). The Leica Biosystems team of clinically trained, black belt professionals conducted a three day on site visit at the breast center and found several opportunities for improvement related to cross functional patient management. The following flow chart illustrates SOMC’s interdepartmental hand offs:

We discovered that by sharing data on national metrics, paired with our observational data on internal processes, the imaging center was able to improve timeliness in the following area: Breast imaging and reporting system (BIRADs), from 0 (indeterminate reading) to final BIRADs interpretation improved from ~22 days to 6.5 days, resulting in patients and their doctors receiving definitive results of the mammography quicker and if appropriate, could initiate treatment more promptly.

Leica Biosystems’ partnership with Southern Ohio Medical Center is an example of how we establish ourselves as an ethically credible and valued partner that understands and recognizes challenges in breast imaging centers. As we continue to work with our clients, we constantly challenge ourselves and our clients to innovate through our pillars of improving quality, integrating solutions and optimizing efficiencies.

Projections and Realized Results are specific to the institution where they were obtained and may not reflect the results achievable at other institutions.

Disclaimer

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.

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