In order to better serve the need in the safety-net population, a clinic must gain an accurate understanding of its access to mammography screening appointments as well as the capacity the screening facility has for mammograms. Transparency in data will allow the clinic to be better positioned to negotiate for access to more mammograms.
Steps for implementation
- Identify all mammography providers for your clinic.
- Calculate the number of mammograms provided by each mammography facility for your patient population.
- Compare this number to the demand as previously assessed (see Element 1: Define the Population) and calculate the remaining need. If the supply does not meet the demand, this shows the gap in mammography services.
- Strategize ways to fill the gap (funding strategies, strengthening relationships, etc.) and work toward supply matching demand to provide 100% access to the target population.
Safety-Net Clinics and Partners Supply and Demand Grid: Montgomery County, Maryland
The chart on the next page records an example of the supply and demand for safety-net clinics in Montgomery County. This grid is brought to every breast health improvement partner meeting and shared with primary care safety-net clinics and mammography providers as a tool to facilitate discussion on meeting community need for mammography services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How do we start tracking number of mammography referrals to different facilities?
A1. Some clinics have built in a drop-down menu in their EMR to document all referral sites. A report can then be generated to track where patients are being referred for mammography. Other clinics use an Excel spreadsheet to track follow-up of services. An example of this spreadsheet can be found under Useful Attachments.
Q2. What are strategies for negotiating for more slots for mammograms?
A2. An effective strategy for increasing supply is through transparency in data. Demonstrating a low no-show rate and a high need in mammography could result in more slots allotted to your clinic. Continuous communication between the mammography provider and the primary care facility is imperative to overcome barriers and reduce the no-show rate. Using the supply and demand grid to show need can also attract new providers and funders.