A key part of PCC’s project, the Breast Health Quality Consortium, is to engage providers through the entire spectrum of breast health care in process improvement. The breast health care safety-net in the National Capitol Area is expansive: 30 independent clinics, more than 20 free-standing radiology centers, and 20 hospitals. Several layers of jurisdictional boundaries add even greater complexity to this already fragmented system.
In 2012, the PCC began developing an environmental scan to assess processes and resources at each institution, generating a report on the standards, challenges, and best practices. In addition to assessing the overall breast healthcare system, the environmental scan confidentially identifies opportunities for process improvement at individual sites.
Developing the environmental scan required collaboration from both across the region and across the spectrum of breast health care. The Primary Care Coalition gathered experts in process improvement, health disparities, and quality improvement, as well as medical practitioners from primary care providers, breast imaging, and cancer treatment. Working in small committees, the groups developed lists of key questions to include on surveys, using the Delphi Method to rank those most important for each type of provider.
This community participation has been invaluable, creating survey tools that ensure that the Environmental Scan will address the challenges created by a complex system of safety-net breast healthcare.