Avon Comprehensive Breast Center

San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center

Like many facilities, the Avon Breast Center has FFDM systems from several companies and also performs breast ultrasound and MR exams. The center performs 10,000 diagnostic and screening mammograms a year. It implemented three CARESTREAM Mammography Workstations to allow efficient viewing of breast studies.

Prior to this implementation, radiologists used three different workstations to read breast imaging studies. In addition, each workstation had its own limitations in terms of tools and features. The facility’s radiology staff wanted to standardize on a workstation that could provide a comprehensive set of diagnostic tools and support viewing of all digital imaging exams.

Radiologist Lori Strachowski, MD, played a leading role in selecting a new breast imaging workstation platform for the Avon Breast Center. She is Director of Women’s Imaging and Chief of Mammography and Ultrasound at San Francisco General Hospital.

"Carestream Health’s multi-modality workstation can integrate with an existing PACS and all vendors’ FFDM systems,” notes Dr. Strachowski. "It’s easy to use and it also offers mammographyspecific functionality that is important for productive reading. This combination of features is exactly what we were looking for."

User-customizable display protocols are just one of the time-saving tools offered by Carestream Health’s breast imaging workstation. Dr. Strachowski’s routine hanging protocols are configured to include full-resolution display. "I always view each image in full resolution because I find calcifications that I might not have detected on the 2:1 view. Other workstations allow you to see a full-resolution image, but you may have to click a button every time you want to go to full resolution. That’s not user friendly or convenient."

Dr. Strachowski lectures at CME courses about converting mammography workflow to a digital environment. She notes that the roots for our current environment of proprietary workstations were planted because FDA mandates initially required FFDM systems to comprise a complete solution that included a diagnostic workstation. Now breast imaging workstations are Class 2 devices that can be sold separately and integrated with existing PACS and breast imaging modalities.

In her lecture, she emphasizes the need for equipment flexibility—knowing that PACS and imaging modality vendors may change over time.

"It’s wise to plan for a future that involves new and different types of modalities and vendors—and then find workstations and other systems that allow you to accommodate that diversity," she reports.