October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Over a million patients are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, globally. Breast cancer, like most aggressive diseases does not discriminate by gender, ethnicity, or age. No one is immune. As a patient, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get screened and regular breast exams. As a physician, it is your duty to diagnose and treat the condition to the best of your abilities. And that’s where we come in. We have some ideas about how you can become more efficient and effective in diagnosing and treating your patients.
Have Medical Images? Get SAM!
SAM stands for the sharing, access, and mobility of medical images. It is a critical necessity to have as a Radiologist, Oncologist, Referring Physician, and even Imaging Center. Sharing images in an effective and efficient manner can assist a Radiologist in performing a read sooner, allowing an Oncologist to assemble a treatment plan accordingly. As you well know, there are often times where due to a number of reasons a patient comes in and her results show that the cancer is too aggressive. It’s heartbreaking to watch a stranger come to terms with the fact that they are dying. It’s normal for people to think what if? - What if she had come in sooner? What if I had her reports and images earlier? What if she had not had so much radiation exposure through needless additional scans?
The Hippocratic Oath has you vow that you will do the best to your ability to treat a patient. However, when you realize that there 's more that could have been done - that’s the day when healthcare fails the patient. Which is why SAM is important. Having the ability to share images with a physician from a single click takes the time (and cost) of burning images onto CDs and parceling them out of the equation. In a single click you can access a patient’s diagnostically approved medical images and records. In fact, you can do so anywhere in the world. Let’s say that your patient is traveling outside the country. She feels a lump, and goes to a local physician. They do a scan and the diagnosis is not good. Depending on where she is, getting a hand on those images could be a very daunting and time consuming task. What if she cannot immediately return home? With a Cloud based solution, any physician in the world can share medical images with anyone regardless of physical location. In fact, medical images are uploaded to the Cloud and instantly available to view on a browser by the recipient.
Efficiency Supports Early Detection
There are numerous studies that have been conducted showing that early detection 1) increases the treatment options a patient has available, 2) can mean less extensive surgery, and 3) perhaps most importantly - lead to better medical outcomes.
Early detection is not solely the patient’s responsibility. Do they have to make an appointment to get a mammogram done? Yes. However, you also play a role by looking at comparisons of previous mammograms to see if there are any changes. If a patient comes to see you regarding a potential cancer diagnosis, the last thing you want to do is expose them to needless radiation and have them take yet another scan. However, if the images have not yet been sent from the imaging center what other choice do you have? None - that is unless if you have a Cloud solution. With a Cloud solution (done right), you take back the power. You never have to wait on an imaging center to burn CDs, because we all know that it never takes “just 5 minutes”. You never have to expect a parcel to arrive late due to unreliable mail service. You never have to be nervous about a patient forgetting to bring the images with them to their follow up appointment. All you have to do is click, and you’ll have options like uploading, sharing, viewing, accessing, and reporting all at your fingertips.
You don’t have to rely on 3rd parties to ensure that you are doing what is in the best interest of your patient. Eliminating the “5 minutes” it takes to burn a CD multiplied by the number of patients seen in one day at an imaging center could mean fitting in one more patient in the day. Who knows, maybe that one patient will be diagnosed with manageable breast cancer. Who knows, maybe if she wasn’t fitted into that last appointment at the imaging center, she would have waited another few months to have a mammogram done...by when the cancer could become more aggressive. Throw the "what if" out of your vocabulary. A Cloud solution offers a new view on making a diagnosis and starting a treatment plan. If you think the Cloud is right for you, or just want more information, contact us. Let’s fight breast cancer together.