GE Healthcare and Premier are working together to develop a care model that would allow patients to receive diagnosis and treatment plan information for breast cancer in the same day.
Right now, women often must wait several days or even weeks after a follow-up mammogram before they know the results. Then, another appointment is set up to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan.
The potential new model from GE and Premier would allow women to get the results from the mammogram and a treatment plan in the same day. There is some research showing faster diagnosis and treatment improves outcomes for breast cancer.
"The earlier a woman is diagnosed the earlier you can start treatment, and we know that the earlier you start treatment, usually the outcomes are better," said Ben Newton, global head of oncology at GE Healthcare.
The model can also lead to lower costs because women would get diagnosed earlier, potentially leading to less invasive treatment, he added.
The companies are currently in the research phase to evaluate how the model could work in the U.S. The concept is already in place in some parts of Europe, including France and the U.K.
Care in the U.S. is fragmented, which requires patients to see multiple specialties at various points to get care. The goal of the collaboration would be to evaluate how the healthcare system can come together in one place to achieve the patient's needs, said Lena Camperlengo, director of operations at Premier.
"We don't put the patient at the center of care, that is the challenge," she said. "How do we bring a multidisciplinary team of breast cancer surgeons and pathologists together in the same place to provide the patient a diagnosis and treatment plan so we can get them into treatment as fast as possible?"
The technology used is secondary to the project, Newton said. GE offers mammography devices that can provide same-day diagnosis but so do other vendors.
After both companies do their initial analysis, they will begin recruiting Premier members to test the model, said Roni Christopher, vice president of design and intervention at Premier.
Premier works with hospitals and health systems nationally.
"We will test what this model looks like across different settings and we will analyze and evaluate that to determine who can be the quickest and earliest adopters," she said.
Premier and GE Healthcare expect the testing to begin sometime next year.