Breast Center Conference Offers Reprieve from Harsh Winter Weather

...Join us for a superb & informative 3.5 days in sunny Las Vegas.

Practical Tips for Implementing Tomosynthesis in Clinical Practice

Sunday, March 16 at 10:30 – 11:30 am during the Digital Tomosynthesis Pre-session

Linda Greer, MD
Medical Director, John C. Lincoln Breast Health & Research Center
John C. Lincoln Hospital
Phoenix, AZ

Jennifer Lopez, MD & Gary Levine, MD
Hoag Breast Center
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
Newport Beach, CA

This three-physician panel of Tomosynthesis users will provide a short introductory presentation about issues to consider when implementing 3D mammography such as workflow which impacts call backs and spot views.

There will be a discussion of the immediate outcomes and the long-term status of Tomosynthesis in the presenters’ radiology practices.

This will be followed by question and answer session with attendees.

Burnout is Avoidable:  Strategies for Prevention

Tuesday, March 18 at 1:35 - 2:05pm  in the Navigation Track Breakout Session

Christine M. Bylewski, LCSW-R, BCD
Cancer Counseling Service
Williamsville, NY

Healthcare providers are notorious for taking excellent care of others and poor care of themselves.  This dynamic creates fertile ground for burnout.  Offering compassion to patients on a constant basis drains medical professionals, if they are not compassionate with themselves.  Discovering activities that recharge their emotional battery are crucial for navigators.  Understanding the necessity of maintaining healthy professional boundaries contributes to homeostasis.  If you are suffering from burnout, awareness of that fact is the first step to recovery.  Giving permission to step away from work becomes vital to a successful resolution of burnout.  Practicing diverse strategies that address this delicate balance prove essential to maintaining a rewarding clinical career.

The participant in this session will be able to learn the following skills.

  • Recognize the pitfalls, as well as patterns of operating and thinking, that contribute to burn out.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of burnout and develop cognitive strategies which protect the navigator from negative thinking.
  • Learn emotional self-care and physical strategies which promote balance.
  • Understand the concept of resilience through passion, caring, and inspiration.

Burnout is avoidable.  Compassion fatigue can be replaced by inspiration and resilience.  However, the care giver must maintain personal balance in an unbalanced and unpredictable environment.  One must practice healthy boundaries and have appropriate expectations which will be the pearl you will take away from this session.

Contrast  Enhanced  Spectral  Mammography  [CESM]

Monday, March 17 at 3:15 – 3:45pm during the RT Breakout Track Session

Belinda Zaparinuk, RT[M], BS, CBEC
Manager, Schnitzer/Novack Breast Centers
Eisenhower Medical Center
Rancho Mirage, CA

Contrast Enhanced Spectral Mammography is an exam performed as a mammogram, but requires an intravenous injection of an iodine contrast agent. The images are displayed with the standard view showing tissue density and a contrast-enhanced image in the exact same position with the background signal subtracted out.

When an exposure is made, two images are created per view using a high energy beam and a low energy beam [Spectral Imaging].

It is performed as an adjunct to an inclusive mammogram or ultrasound exam. Using an iodine contrast agent, CESM highlights the suspicious areas that exhibit increased vascularity.

This presentation will demonstrate the following.

  • how you can incorporate CESM into your breast center
  • what is needed to start your program regarding training, supplies, and reimbursement
  • the benefits of CESM for your patients.

A Practical Look at the NAPBC Standards

Saturday/Sunday Preconference at 10:30 - 11:30am, March 15/16

Scott Kurtzman, MD, FACS
NAPBC Board & Chair, Standards & Accreditation Committee
Chair, Surgery Department, Waterbury Hospital, Waterbury, CT

Breast specialists deal with a wide variety of issues that range from routine screening through care of patients with incurable cancer. This care is delivered in a number of different practice settings. Women who require screening only and have a normal physical examination may only encounter their primary care physician or gynecologist and a radiologist. However, once an abnormality or high risk situation is identified, a multidisciplinary team may be the right avenue to address all of the patient’s clinical needs. For many years, this care was taking place in an uncoordinated fashion.  This might have led to unnecessary testing, increased anxiety and preventable delays in treatment.

In 2005, the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons approved the development of an accrediting body to help organize and set standards for breast centers. In order to accomplish this goal, a multidisciplinary group of breast experts began to examine the elements of care for breast patients. It was felt that standards should be developed by experts who practice in this area, and not by the government or payers. The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) was formed and has grown to include representatives from 20 national organizations. Using the early version of the standards, pilot studies were carried out. The Standards were revised and published and the process of accrediting breast centers began in 2008. Since that time, the standards have continued to evolve and the NAPBC has now accredited over 500 breast centers in the United States.

It remains important to the member organizations that make up the NAPBC Board that the standards add value to the program. Accordingly, the standards were developed to span the entire continuum of breast care. The standards cover 17 domains of care. They are divided into six major areas that encompass 1) Leadership of the Center, 2) Screening and Treatment, 3) Research, 4) Community Service, 5) Education of breast specialists and 6) Quality. Each standard can be traced directly to the needs of patients at various points in their journey from diagnosis to treatment and survivorship.

NAPBC believes that the very act of participating in the accreditation process results in improvements in the process of care that will be of benefit to the patients served.  Surveys of breast centers that began this process demonstrate that they took the opportunity to examine all of the aspects of care for the patients. Changes were implemented that included increasing the number and quality of breast conferences, improvements in pathology reports, addition of navigators to guide patients through the system and many others.  It is hard to imagine that these improvements won't result in better care and perhaps better outcomes.

Maximizing and Marketing What You Have Created

Saturday, March 15 at 4:15 – 5:00 in the Navigation Pre-session

Sandra Walters, RN, CBPN-IC, CBCN
Director of Patient Navigation, Exempla Saint Joseph Breast & Cancer Center
Executive Director, Andre Center for Breast Cancer Education and Navigation
Denver, CO

The 64 Million Dollar Question is how to best market and maximize the marketing of your navigation program.

The lecturer will give you her best suggestions based on the perspective earned from 15 years as a patient navigator and a program developer.  “Often the most obvious is not appreciated in how we market our program and it is the very essence of what we do - the navigation services we provide!”

This presentation will offer insight into how you can recognize and capitalize on the powerful marketing potential your program has through the services a patient navigator delivers.  In addition, suggestions will be given regarding the more traditional ways you can market your program to the community and, the often forgotten but very valuable, internal audience.

Last but not least, a glimpse into the New Commision on Cancer [CoC] Patient Navigation Standard that arises from a Community Needs Assessment.  “E-ghad! What is that you say?”

Learn how Sandra Walters parlayed an area of little understanding to her into a showcase of education and marketing efforts that were already in play.

Finance:  How to Increase Quality and Improve the Bottom Line at the Same Time

Saturday, March 15th at 4:15-5:00 in the “Create a Breast Center of Excellence” Pre-session

Gerald Kolb, JD
Chief Executive Officer, Ikonopedia, Inc.
Dallas, TX

Is it inevitable that efforts at cost reduction will result in diminished quality of care?  The premise of this session is that cost and quality can be almost entirely independent, but only as a result of the proactive involvement of the people involved in healthcare — providers and patients.  Given the proper tools, change can be positive and it can happen without pain.

This session is NOT just a collection of touchy-feely “kumbaya” ideas for creating a new approach to working together, although that will be one of the results.  Rather, attendees will learn specific approaches to common challenges that they can take back to their centers that can immediately result in both cost savings and improvement in the quality of care.  Justify your attendance at this conference with real, tangible takeaways!

Here is a teaser.  Scheduling three screening patients for 8 am will allow all to be imaged on a single mammography unit by 8:30 am.  We know that patients do not always show up at the same time and this system allows the patients to be seen in the order that they are ready for the exam.  There will be more detail on this idea and many more discussed in this session.