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 PCC started the Breast Health Care Process Improvement Initiative in Montgomery County, Maryland. This program, designed to increase mammogram referral and screening rates, was very successful and, in pilot sites, led to:
- Increased mammography referral rate: from 10.2 to 47.4 percent
- Increased mammography screening rates: from 5.1 to 39.3 percent
This program grew quickly, with nine safety-net clinics joining in the Initiative. PCC continues to work with quality improvement staff and patient navigators from each of these sites to test process changes in breast screening and build stronger relationships with their partners in primary and specialty care.
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 sites improved their mammography screening, from 44% to 61%; 19% to 34%; and 55% to 80%.
- 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 learnings from this work as a 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.
The PCC expanded breast health initiatives again in 2012, with continued support from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Breast Health Quality Consortium 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.
Breast Health Quality Consortium has made rapid progress. In its first year we have:
- Built a coalition of more than 25 providers committed to making improvements to their own processes and the overall breast healthcare system
- Developed quantitative indicators to measure the quality of breast health care throughout the continuum of care
- Developed qualitative surveys to evaluate the processes, resources, and barriers experienced by patients and providers throughout the continuum of care