Automated Breast Ultrasound: Groups Discuss How They Started Their Screening Program
By Kathy Hardy
Vol. 15 No. 10 P. 24
Technologists become an important part of the education campaign, providing patients with the information they need to then talk to their referring physicians about what it means to have dense breasts.
Automated breast ultrasound (ABUS) is starting to take its place in the breast imaging world as an approved adjunct to screening mammography in women with dense breasts. Imaging centers are carefully researching their options before establishing their own ABUS programs. While dense breast notification mandates are taking hold in a growing number of states, those laws are not necessarily spurring radiologists to immediately adopt the technology.
Centers that have installed and are using ABUS considered factors such as increased sensitivity and consistent workflow, along with costs, when making the decision to adopt. This diagnostic tool is crossing over to the screening side, which could influence adoption rates.
“We were looking at how best to provide adjunct screening for women in our population with dense breasts and who have other risk factors for breast cancer,” says Monica Saini, MD, a diagnostic radiologist who specializes in breast imaging with Santa Fe Imaging in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “We asked ourselves: What would be the most beneficial for our community? What would they be comfortable with?”
Saini and the eight other members of her practice used a methodical process for evaluating ABUS and determining if there was a place for this technology in their practice, which is certified as an ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence. Located in a northern New Mexico community with a population of 70,000, they were concerned about finding the right solution for their patients’ needs. No one wants to adopt new technology for the sake of having new technology, she says. The evaluation process at Santa Fe Imaging started by looking at what was happening at academic centers around the country.
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