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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2009 Mar-Apr;16(2):187-95. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M2813. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Mammography FastTrack: an intervention to facilitate reminders for breast cancer screening across a heterogeneous multi-clinic primary care network.

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Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 50 Staniford Street, 7th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Health care information technology can be a means to improve quality and efficiency in the primary care setting. However, merely applying technology without addressing how it fits into provider workflow and existing systems is unlikely to achieve improvement goals. Improving quality of primary care, such as cancer screening rates, requires addressing barriers at system, provider, and patient levels. The authors report the development, implementation, and preliminary use of a new breast cancer screening outreach program in a large multicenter primary care network. This installation paired population-based surveillance with customized information delivery based on a validated model linking patients to providers and practices. In the first six months, 86% of physicians and all case managers voluntarily participated in the program. Providers intervened in 83% of the mammogram-overdue population by initiating mailed reminders or deferring contact. Overall, 63% of patients were successfully contacted. Systematic population-based efforts are promising tools to improve preventative care.

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