WCH CONNECTJune 24, 2019

Better communication accelerates results for patients who may have breast cancer

  • June 24, 2019
  • BY Jennifer Lee

Bridgette Lord, a nurse practitioner from the Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers, has been leading a new effort to shrink the wait time for breast biopsy results down from an average of six business days to 48 hours or less.

The Breast Biopsy Accelerated Diagnostic Process (ADP) has changed the way that radiology, surgery, nursing and pathology departments interact, creating a new system that flags patients who have had concerning mammogram, ultrasound or MRI findings in order to streamline care. Once a patient is flagged, subsequent biopsies are processed faster and an expedited diagnosis then leads to a follow-up appointment with a nurse practitioner in short order to begin the work of starting treatment plans.

In terms of how this affects patients, Lord says that “supporting them through the diagnostic process and providing timely results with a plan can help alleviate some of the uncertainty that they experience in the diagnostic period.” By changing up the process, within the first six months, results were back for patients with prior results that were concerning within one day in 84 per cent of cases.

Nancy Groff, clinical manager of surgery services says, “One of the great advantages with this project is that patients can receive their biopsy results in under 48 hours and then can have an appointment with a surgeon within the week to discuss their options in the breast centre.”

This spring, the team won the Excellence in Collaborative Innovation Award at Women’s College Hospital for this effort. Support from the team at Sunnybrook Hospital was a key part of the project’s success, as they agreed to standardize shorter turnaround times for these biopsies and were integral in developing this new model of care. While the ADP method will continue to be tested and evaluated at Women’s College Hospital, there is even greater potential for it to be scaled up and used at other institutions, to give more women a chance to move ahead with care and treatment faster.

The Peter Gilgan Centre for Women’s Cancers at Women College Hospital, in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society, draws together excellence in research, clinical care, innovation and education for women’s cancers.

Team wins the Excellence in Collaborative Innovation Award for the Accelerated Diagnosis Process project at Women’s College Hospital on May 28th

Team wins the Excellence in Collaborative Innovation Award for the Accelerated Diagnosis Process project at Women’s College Hospital on May 28th

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