“Installing PowerLook® Density Assessment has helped improve the workflow of our
department and also in the education of our patients about the importance of knowing your
breast density,” Adrea Bennett, Center for Women Supervisor, Swedish-American Hospital
Swedish-American Hospital (SAH), a division of UW Health, is dedicated to providing excellence in healthcare and compassionate care to the community. The hospital includes 30 primary care and multi-specialty clinics including the Center for Women and serves residents of 12 counties in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
SAH’s commitment to providing quality care to patients has resulted in more national awards than any other health system in northern Illinois. Recently the hospital’s Center for Women won the Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) designation, awarded by the American College of Radiology (ACR), for its excellence in mammography, stereotactic breast biopsy, breast ultrasound and breast MRI.
Recognizing the Need for a Breast Density Assessment Solution
The Center for Women is award-winning because it stays up-to-date on the latest breast imaging technology available. It is equipped with 2D mammography, and is in the process of implementing 3D mammography later this year. The Center also recently adopted whole breast ultrasound, but still needed optimal technology for measuring breast density.
“We realized we needed an accurate breast density assessment around the time we adopted the whole breast ultrasound technology,” said Adrea Bennett, supervisor at the SAH’s Center for Women. “If we could better identify patients with dense breast tissue that would benefit from additional screening, we could offer a follow-up ultrasound the same day.”
By offering patients additional screening if needed; the same day as their mammogram due to density results, the Center could not only provide more convenient, better quality of care but rapidly identify and diagnose breast cancer in its patients.
Benefits of the Appearance-Based Approach
In the state of Illinois, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are not required by law to notify women if they have dense breast tissue following mammography; however, the Breast Health Center at SAH has been notifying its patients since January 2015. Illinois is one of only a few states that currently mandate insurance reimbursement for supplemental screening exams for women with dense breasts. Given this legislation, SAH recognized both the clinician and patient benefits of having a breast density solution and offering additional screening options. In December 2016, SAH installed PowerLook Density Assessment at the Center for Women and clinicians have responded positively.
“PowerLook Density Assessment is probably the most seamless technology we have ever implemented at our facility,” said Bennett. “There was no learning curve and radiologists did not require any training on how to use the technology, even though it was offered, which speaks to its ease of use.”
The Center preferred the technology’s automated, appearance-based approach compared to other volume-based breast density solutions available. It automatically analyzes digital mammograms, calculates the patient’s breast density, and determines the appropriate density category corresponding to BI-RADS standards.
Eliminating the Guesswork
Less than a year since installing PowerLook Density Assessment, clinicians at the Center for Women are reportedly already responding positively and happy with the results.
“For radiologists, PowerLook Density Assessment makes reading breast density easier and it is one less thing they have toworry about in their extremely busy day-which allows for patients to get faster results,” added Bennett. “In the breast density world, you’re usually teetering between a B or C breast density score, for example. PowerLook helps with that decision-making process. Before PowerLook, radiologists would have to guess based on the look alone, without having any numeric value associated with the density, but now they can confidently provide a more accurate assessment.”
Bennett also noted that radiologists are more aware of breast density since adopting the PowerLook solution.
“The solution also allows technicians to provide patients with immediate answers about their density, something that patients have been asking about more frequently”, added Bennett.
The Center for Women performs approximately 14,000 mammograms each year and has used the PowerLook Density Assessment technology on about 3,500 patients to date. By offering this technology, it will continue to be a leader in breast cancer detection.