SBH Health System will be introducing exciting state-of-the-art technology in the upcoming months that offers strong benefits to patients in the community. Here is a brief look at two exciting modalities that have just become available:
Low-Dose 3D Mammography
SBH will be the first hospital in the Bronx to offer 3D mammography. By examining breast tissue layer by layer, this new technology has been shown to provide far greater accuracy than conventional mammography (regardless of a women’s age or breast density). Whereas existing technology provides doctors with a two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional breast – and so can result in unclear findings, false alarms and, most importantly, missed cancer – the new 3D mammography makes fine details more visible. Studies have shown that when compared to 2D technology, the new technology:
- detects 41 percent more invasive breast cancers
- reduces false-positive recalls by up to 40 percent
- detects cancer an average of 15 months earlier
“The Bronx has one of the worst, if not the worst, mortality rates for breast cancer anywhere in New York City,” says Dr. Bert Petersen, director, Division of Breast Surgery at SBH Health System. “Despite all the advances in the fight against breast cancer, the thing that makes the biggest difference is early detection. Our rate at SBH of stage 1, or localized breast disease detection is much better than the national average (76 percent to 68 percent), and bringing in new technology like this only makes a bigger case of how a small hospital in the Bronx is winning the fight for women with breast cancer.”
The new technology also uses very low x-ray energy during the exam, about the same as a film-screen mammogram. The exam itself is similar to the conventional 2D exam.
Some statistics regarding breast cancer: Studies show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Eight out of nine women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. With early detection, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent.
Christopher Jerry started the Emily Jerry Foundation after his two-year-old daughter died in 2006 from a medication error at a Cleveland hospital. Emily Jerry was just one of 440,000 Americans who die annually from preventable medical errors – the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
Jerry recently spoke at SBH as part of a pharmacy grand rounds, one of the more than 30 hospitals he travels to each year in his mission to reduce medication errors. He believes that if BD Cato – an integrated software system designed to prevent errors during the compounding of intravenous medications – had been available at Rainbow Babies & Children Hospital in Cleveland when his daughter was being treated there for an abdominal tumor, it may have very well prevented the medication error that took her life. The pharmacy technician had used a 23 percent sodium chloride concentration rather than the less than 1 percent required to prepare the little girl’s chemotherapy. Shortly after being infused, Emily fell into a coma and died the next day after being taken off life support.
BD Cato uses gravimetric and bar code verification to detectwrong product or wrong dose type or errors during IV compounding. It promotes medication safety by:
- using real-time gravimetric verification that alerts pharmacist of potential errors
- featuring bar code technology designed to detect dosing errors related to incorrect selection of drug, diluent, and final container
- calculating drug and diluent quantities needed to compound prescribed admixtures
- providing immediate notification of errors and provides steps on how to correct a mistake
- verifying that doses are prepared within institutional tolerances
- enabling the pharmacist to verify admixture preparations remotely
- not allowing print patient label until all steps are completed correctly
- enabling the pharmacist to view final label and validate that admixture was prepared correctly
Jerry is a strong proponent of how certain technologies – like the BD Cato and the RIVA (Robotic IV Automation) system, instituted several years ago at SBH – can prevent medical errors when combined with a Just Culture environment, a practice followed by SBH and other progressive health systems around the country.
“Today’s technology can prevent tomorrow’s tragedies,” said Jerry, speaking at the hospital’s grand rounds.“Yes, it can, but not by itself. For technology to be effective, it has to be coupled with best practices. The good news is that when it comes to medication error we can fix it.”