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Am J Surg. 2007 Oct;194(4):482-7.

Positive impact of a breast-health triaging system on breast-care access and physician satisfaction.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Suite D-604, 88 East Newton Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA. michael.stone@bmc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Minority patients are at risk for delayed breast cancer treatment. Using nonsurgical breast specialists could improve access but requires appropriate referral to ensure prompt cancer care. Our objective was to evaluate a referral triage system in a combined medical/surgical breast health program (BHP).

METHODS:

A triage system based on imaging findings, examination, and patient age was instituted. An advanced practice nurse managed referrals and a prospective database. Referring providers were surveyed after 2 years.

RESULTS:

From 2003 to 2006, 4,840 referrals were made to surgeons (57%) and nonsurgeons (43%). Breast cancers were found in 8.5% of patients. Referral error occurred in 4 cancer patients (.1%). BHP-referred patients had significantly shorter times to surgical appointment (10 days) than non-BHP referrals (45 days). A referring provider survey indicated 96% satisfaction.

CONCLUSIONS:

A breast-care triage system expedited cancer care resulting in physician satisfaction and increased referrals.

PMID:
17826060
DOI:
10.1016/j.amjsurg.2007.06.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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