The PCC is committed to improving access to high quality breast health care for low-income women. We have years of experience working with safety-net clinics and other community partners to identify challenges and devise best practices across the spectrum of breast health care.
In 2007, the Primary Care Coalition’s Breast Health Initiative began with a screening quality improvement pilot in Montgomery County, Maryland. In pilot sites, the mammography referral and screening rates increased from 10.2% to 47.4% and 5.1% to 39.3% respectively.
In 2010, with support from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and in collaboration with the Regional Primary Care Coalition, the PCC spread this project even further, engaging three safety-net clinics, one each in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Fairfax County, Virginia. The PCC established process and quality measures for each clinic, building an even stronger understanding of the breast screening process and challenges faced by patients with limited resources. Through this Regional Initiative we shared our interventions across the National Capital Area. The three intervention sites increased their mammography screening rates from 44% to 61%; 19% to 34%; and 55% to 80% respectively. Each of the three clinics institutionalized the process improvements, spreading them across multiple sites and dramatically increasing the number of women reached by the Regional Initiative. The PCC compiled and published the lessons learned from this work in the Change Package: a resource kit filled with proven strategies and interventions that can be used by clinics certified as primary care medical homes or in the process of adopting those standards.
In 2012, the Breast Health Initiative expanded to form the Breast Health Quality Consortium (BHQC). The BHQC is a four year project aiming to improve the quality of breast health care throughout the National Capital Area and across the spectrum of breast health care by identifying and reducing disparities in service delivery. Since its inception, the BHQC has convened health care providers, community organizations, and local government entities to commit to a unified vision of improving breast health services throughout the region.
To date, the BHQC has:
- Built a coalition of more than 40 providers committed to making improvements to their own processes and the overall breast healthcare system
- Developed qualitative and quantitative tools to evaluate the processes, resources, and barriers experienced by patients and providers throughout the continuum of care
- Provided technical assistance to providers throughout the region to implement breast health quality improvement plans at their sites which has resulted in quantifiable success