Mammography fast-tracking

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 52 , No. 2 , March 2010 , Pages 102 News

In January, the BC Cancer Agency’s Screening Mammography Program (SMP) announced the expansion of the Fast Track Referral System (Fast Track), providing every BC physician with access to the program. The goal of Fast Track is to reduce the time between an abnormal screening mammography result and access to further diagnostic investigation.

About 7.2% of women participating in routine screening mammography through the SMP will receive an abnormal result, and waiting for further tests can be stressful for these women. Fast Track shortens the time between an abnormal screening result and the start of diagnostic investigation through the following process:

At the time of screening, women are told that if further tests are needed, they will be contacted by a diagnostic facility to book an appointment.
If further tests are needed, the woman is booked at the closest Fast Track diagnostic clinic, generally the same location as the screening site.
Every effort is made to provide follow-up appointments within 1 week. <br />
The SMP films and radiologist&rsquo;s recommendation for further imaging workup are sent to the diagnostic office before further tests are conducted. 
The woman&rsquo;s doctor is advised where the further imaging tests are being conducted and the results of the testing.&nbsp;

Prior to January, physicians needed to enroll in the Fast Track Referral System, or women needed to choose a Fast Track clinic to benefit from facilitated referrals to diagnostic imaging following an abnormal mammography result. Now all doctors and SMP participants will automatically have access to Fast Track. The change has been endorsed by the BC Medical Association.

The SMP has 37 fixed locations and three mobile services covering more than 120 communities across BC. Women aged 40 to 79 can book an appointment for a free mammogram without a doctor&rsquo;s referral by calling 604 877-6187 or 1 800 663-9203.

More information on the SMP and the Fast Track Referral System can be found on the BC Cancer Agency&rsquo;s web site at <a href="http://www.bccancer.bc.ca">www.bccancer.bc.ca</a>.

. Mammography fast-tracking. BCMJ, Vol. 52, No. 2, March, 2010, Page(s) 102 - News.



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