Transition from “mammography” to all encompassing “breast imaging”

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On October 20, 2015, the American Cancer Society issued new guidelines recommend that less screening for breast cancer is better than more. In its wake, the debate around screening mammograms continues. The American Cancer Society now recommends women to begin screening at age 45, rather than age 40. For women of average risk over the age of 54, the annual mammogram recommendation has been reduced to biennial. The number of screening mammograms dropped by 5.72% within three months when the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) adjusted its screening mammogram recommendation age to 50. How will the ACS’s new guidelines affect your practice and how will you weather the “breast imaging storm?”

Typically, the first reaction is to cut costs. Do you really need that new tomosynthesis unit or do you simply want to remain competitive in your local market? What about vendor consolidation? How many systems, maintenance contracts, monitors, and workstations specific to mammography are you paying for and how many do you really need? Are your radiologists as efficient as they can be, or are they spending too much time searching for studies or moving between workstations? 

How can you grow during times of reduction? All the screening recommendation changes are confusing to patients, who need to fully understand what the conflicting guidelines mean to them, and what all their options are. Perhaps limiting screenings to mammograms is not enough. How can you add screening MRs or more ultrasounds to your portfolio and develop a patient outreach campaign to educate women on all their options? Now is the time to solidify your relationships with your referral community and grow the market together.

Merge is here to help. We don’t want our clients to simply survive changes in breast imaging. We want them to thrive. In fact, one of our customers is doing just that and will happily show you how. Randy Hicks, CEO of Regional Medical Imaging (RMI), a nationally recognized Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, highlights how his practices have overcome market challenges using Merge PACS™ as an all-in-one reading platform for mammography, breast MR (featuring CADstream®), BSGI, and breast ultrasound. Dr. Hicks has also developed an affordable screening breast MR and excels at community outreach. Download the free webinar to learn more about the workflows Dr. Hicks has put in place at RMI.

Originally posted on: 10/29/2015 10:02:40 AM

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