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GE Healthcare today announced St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania will pilot the nation’s first rapid diagnostic breast cancer center model. The One-Stop Clinic breast care model, which originated at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Center in France, has been shown to improve clinical outcomes and speed up breast cancer diagnosis and treatment planning.

In 2019, GE Healthcare and Premier Inc. announced plans to collaboratively work with a Premier member health system to open the first One-Stop Clinic model for breast cancer in the U.S. The multi-modality approach is designed to provide patients with a coordinated journey from the initial appointment through diagnosis and treatment plan in one location and with one team – all in a significantly shorter timeframe.

The goal is to reduce the time between when a patient receives an abnormal screening mammogram and a confirmed cancer diagnosis and treatment plan. Studies show the length of time between mammogram and the first surgical consultation can average 26 days. GE Healthcare and Premier Applied Sciences® selected St. Luke’s as an ideal pilot site as they have already implemented a five day, streamlined diagnostic imaging flow process. Once the One-Stop Clinic is fully operational, the goal is to reduce this time to 36 hours or fewer. Premier’s role is to create the training and operation materials that St. Luke’s will utilize to implement this model. The three parties will work together to share these learnings with other health systems in the future.

“Reducing the time to diagnosis for breast cancer patients will become a reality in 2021,” said Roni Christopher, DHSc, Vice President of Design and Implementation for Premier. “We are incredibly proud of the work we have done thus far with GE Healthcare and St. Luke’s, and are excited to help expand this innovative care model to more patients across the country.”

Clinicians anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic may create an even greater delay in a cancer diagnosis which could lead to an increased number of advanced breast cancers. An estimated 285,000 American women missed their screening mammogram between March and June 2020 alone. By consolidating the cancer diagnostic process to a single location, GE Healthcare aims to improve the patient experience and clinical outcomes, while mitigating COVID-19 exposure risk due to reduced time spent in the clinic.

“Amid today’s challenges related to the pandemic, it is essential we rethink the patient experience and clinical workflows to help relieve patient anxiety and reach an accurate diagnosis as quickly as possible,” said Agnes Berzsenyi, President and CEO of Women’s Health and X-Ray at GE Healthcare. “We’ve seen this model surpass expectations in France and Colombia, and with Premier’s support, we’re proud to be working with St. Luke’s to bring these same benefits to women in the United States.”

The St. Luke’s One-Stop Clinic has already begun piloting the workflow and expected to open to in 2021. The flow of clinical care will start with a mammogram and biopsy, as needed, followed by pathology, conclusive diagnosis and treatment planning.

“With hospitals spanning two states and representation in urban, suburban and rural communities, we believe we are uniquely positioned to provide the platform for best practices to a majority of the nation’s healthcare providers,” said radiologist Joseph Russo, MD, Women’s Imaging, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “Our entire team is committed to improving access, diagnostic wait times and technology for all women facing a potential breast cancer diagnosis.”Worldwide, additional One-Stop Clinics are in development by GE Healthcare with several new clinics planned in the year to come. To date, more than 25,000 women have participated in One-Stop programs in France and Colombia. In France, 75 percent of women have left with an accurate diagnosis on the same day.2 The One-Stop Clinic uses a multi-modality approach that can include GE Healthcare Senographe Pristina mammography system, SenoBright™ Contrast-Enhanced Spectral Mammography (CESM), Serena Bright™ biopsy and Invenia™ ABUS. The original concept of the One-Stop Clinic was pioneered by Suzette Delaloge, MD, an oncologist and head of the Breast Cancer Department at Gustave Roussy.