To further advance our Patients First mission, and enhance both the physician and patient experience, Northwestern Medicine has implemented two new clinical standards system-wide that impact all orders for breast cancer screening and detection. The Breast Imaging Clinical Pathway, which went into effect March 3, establishes two clinical best practices that streamline the physician ordering process, as well as provide patients with direct access to screening mammography.
Prospective Ordering The new Breast Imaging Clinical Pathway is a prospective ordering process that helps facilitate diagnostic testing without the need to notify the physician for additional orders. Any order for any type of breast imaging automatically generates a prospective order that places the patient on the Breast Imaging Clinical Pathway, authorizing subsequent clinically indicated orders without additional physician authorization.
Prospective orders are good for two years from the initial order date.
Results of all testing will continue to be sent directly to the referring physician(s).
Imaging sites will continue to notify physicians prior to scheduling biopsies.
Physicians retain the right to opt out of the pathway during the initial ordering process.
Screening Mammograms without a Physician Order
The Breast Imaging Clinical Pathway also allows patients over the age of 39 who are asymptomatic to request screening mammograms withouta prescription or physician order. Here’s how it works:
Screening results will be sent directly to the patient’s physician.
A pathway order will be requested for patients who require additional diagnostic testing.
Patients without established care will be connected to a Northwestern Medicine physician prior to scheduling the screening mammogram.
The new standard streamlines the mammography ordering process for both physicians and patients, from screening to detection, reducing physician interruptions for additional orders. If you have additional questions, please contact Sarah M. Friedewald, MD, Chief of Breast and Women’s Imaging, Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, at email@example.com or 312.472.0460.