By Lindsey Kuglin
Starting this week, it will be easier for women to book and change appointments for mammograms at the Walkerton hospital.
Starting Feb. 1, the breast screening clinic has become an affiliate site of the Ontario Breast Screening Program, which will make scheduling more seamless for patients.
“Now patients can talk directly to the department where they will be having the test performed to make or change appointments,” said Loretta Dunn, communications co-ordinator with the South Bruce Grey Health Centre.
She said the breast screening department was under a “satellite” site model of the OBSP, which allowed the procedures to be performed at the Walkerton site, but all communication had to be done through the London site.
“This takes out the middle-man,” Dunn said.
In addition to the appointment scheduling, under the old model, the regional office in London did all of the data entry of normal and abnormal charts, client letters, booking diagnostic follow up, managing and collecting reports for abnormal cases, and film tracking.
With the new model, everything will be done at the same site, which Dunn said improves privacy for the patients.
Cancer Care Ontario, which runs the OBSP, mandated that all satellite sites move to the affiliate site model by February of this year to address those privacy concerns.
Cancer Care Ontario will be providing funding for a part-time clerical staff to address the increased scheduling workload.
The new status of the breast screening clinic won’t affect the SBGHC’s operating budget.