In its continuing quest to provide the best health care in the region, Avera continually provides quality initiatives and review. Currently, Avera Holy Family is conducting a quality review of mammograms taken at Avera Holy Family Hospital in Estherville during the years of 2013 and 2014. A sampling of patients who have had mammograms taken during that period may be getting calls from the Avera Holy Family to return to the facility to have a repeat mammogram. This is at no expense to the patient.
"We want to ensure all of our patients have high quality mammograms on file for future comparisons," said Tad Jacobs, D.O., Chief Medical Officer of Avera Medical Group. "Mammography call backs can be frightening, but because we want to ensure patient safety, we are taking a very broad approach to this issue.
"Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms," Jacobs continued. "It's not unusual for women to get calls back for a second mammogram. According to the American Cancer Society, about 10 percent of women who have a mammogram will be called back for more tests. But only 8 to 10 percent of those women will need a biopsy and 80 percent of those biopsies turn out be benign."
At Avera Holy Family, approximately 150 women out of approximately 1,400 mammograms taken over that time will be asked to come back in for the follow-up mammogram.
"Our patients deserve the best and we want to make sure to have the highest quality images available on file," said Dale Hustedt, CEO of Avera Holy Family. "We wanted to get the word out about this review so people are kept aware of the quality measures we have in place. We want our patients to know that they can certainly contact us if they have any questions. We are committed to our friends and neighbors in the Estherville area."
The hospital just began contacting affected women via telephone calls to begin scheduling follow-up appointments. Staff are moving quickly and involving extra staff. We encourage women who are called to schedule timely appointments so that we are able to provide them answers to their questions and reassurance as quickly as possible.
Avera Medical Group:
n Women ages 50-74 should have an annual mammogram every one to two years.
n Women ages 40-49 should discuss having mammograms every one to two years with their provider.
n Women age 75 and over should discuss their decision to continue screening with their provider.
Women at high risk should be referred for genetic counseling and possibly a high-risk screening schedule.
Patients with questions are encouraged to call 712-362-6479 for questions or more information.