A Patient-Centered Approach: Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center seeks to improve the patient experience
Whether it’s for a routine annual mammogram or another test, many patients experience anxiety when they have to visit the Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Breast cancer is a scary diagnosis and it’s natural to be worried about the experience and the results of your test. But our team of experts is here for you with a patient-centered approach that’s designed to help make your appointment simple, efficient and stress free. Recent enhancements to our care model mean that experience is even better.
New Patient Care and Service Model
Recently, the Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center enhanced its patient care and service model in a number of ways to incorporate new and evolving technology and continue to meet the needs of patients. “We found we could reduce patient anxiety, perform their exam much quicker and achieve higher quality outcomes while still providing same-day results,” says Director of Radiology Brian McIntosh, BS, RT(R), CRA, of the new model.
What’s changed? It starts with the check-in process. “We created more space in our waiting room and increased our staffing at reception so that patients will not have to wait in line,” McIntosh says. The reception staff will also make next year’s screening appointment upon check-in for this year’s appointment. “This prevents patients from waiting in line a second time at the end of their appointment,” says McIntosh.
Also new, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is now performed with every screening mammogram. “Screening mammography with DBT has been shown to increase the detection of breast cancer and decrease the number of patients having to come back for additional imaging, decreasing patient anxiety. We have seen cancers in our practice not visible on regular standard 2D imaging and have chosen to make 3D imaging our new standard of care for all patients,” says Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center Medical Director Dr. Bethany Richman.
Patients no longer sit in the waiting room to receive their results. “We found that this increased anxiety levels and was non-value added time to their day,” McIntosh says. In the new patient care and service model, patients can leave immediately after their screening mammogram is completed and get their results the same day via a phone call or through a secure account on Partners Patient Gateway. “Most patients live very busy lives, working full time jobs, managing their children’s schedules, etc. We wanted to return that time to them but still provide the same-day results,” McIntosh says.
For those few patients who are accustomed to or prefer meeting with a radiologist, “We still offer a limited number of live appointment slots each day,” says Dr. Richman. “Some of our patients travel some distance for their appointment or simply want that reassurance before they leave. We wanted to preserve that experience where we could,” she says.
Screening Mammogram Recommendations
Over the past few years, a number of different screening recommendations have been proposed from different groups, which has created confusion with patients. The Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center endorses the American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging’s recommendations that women age 40 and above have annual screening mammography exams. “Mammograms are still our best screening tool. Annual screening mammography saves lives. There is no disputing that,” says Dr. Richman.
To schedule a screening mammogram, call 617-983-7272.Patients are not required to have a written physician order for this exam.
Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Breast Imaging Services are licensed by the Department of Public Health, certified by the FDA/MQSA and accredited by the American College of Radiology.