Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women according to the American Cancer Society. Mammograms can detect breast cancer early when it is most treatable, making regular breast cancer screenings so critical.
In the spring of 2018, a collaborative team of radiologists, technologists, scheduling staff, physicians and population health leaders at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System began working on the Save a Life campaign. The goal of this initiative is to increase mammography screening for women in the Greenville area. While the goal is singular and simple, the steps to get there have taken lots of hard work.
When approached about this campaign, Matthew Chaney, MD, admits it sounded logistically impossible. Meeting the goal would involve adding approximately 300 more mammography screenings per month. But strategies were put into place, which included adding an additional radiologist to Dr. Chaney’s group dedicated to only breast imaging each day.
“For me as a radiologist, this project was very exciting and educational,” says Dr. Chaney. “Seeing how we in radiology can contribute to the health of our community by partnering with our primary care practices, schedulers and the population health team is so rewarding.”
Understanding that convenience is vital when it comes to mammography screenings, the frontline staff was essential to the success of the Save a Life campaign. Dana Hagy, director of women’s imaging and diagnostic at Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, worked closely with the imaging center’s office staff to ensure the entire process was as easy for patients. Key tactics included schedulers reaching out to patients to schedule mammograms, radiologists offering extended office hours, a mobile mammography coach providing screenings throughout the community, as well as other efforts.
“Collaboration was definitely a key to our success,” says Dana. “Each team was eager to meet their commitment, knowing the impact it would make on our patients."
Since the campaign launched, there has been a 39% increase in monthly screening mammogram orders year over year. Additionally, the collaboration resulted in a total of 5,255 MSSP patient screenings and 2,282 Medicare Advantage Managed Care patient screenings in 2018.
“I think it was a huge success,” said Dr. Chaney. “We look forward to continuing the Save a Life campaign. I see much potential for other similar projects in the future as well.”
To learn more about mammograms and how to schedule one today, visit our Breast Health service page.