Drs. Paul Brock, K. Daniel Phillips and Steven Hom are experts in different branches of medicine, but when it came to the creation of The Breast Center at Floyd a decade ago, all three agreed something transformational had to be done to better diagnose and treat patients in northwest Georgia.
“The delay of treatment for the women in our community was prevalent,” said Dr. Brock, a general surgeon with Harbin Clinic. “The time between mammograms, diagnostics and treatment was as much as one or two months. That was unacceptable.”
Aimee Griffin, director of The Breast Center at Floyd, said they were seeing women with advanced stages of breast cancer whose survival rates would have been much higher had they been diagnosed earlier.
Creating an environment where women could get an accurate diagnosis within 24 hours of having a mammogram seemed daunting at the time. Radiologists, pathologists and surgeons all had to be on the same page before The Breast Center at Floyd’s Know in 24 promise could become a reality.
“It was significant in that it required the different specialties to change the way they did things,” said Dr. Phillips, a radiologist with Rome Radiology Group. “It reprioritized the importance of breast care and we had to trust one another. We were looking as a collaborative whole at what was in the best interest of the patient.”
He said the success of their efforts is visible and he credited Floyd Medical Center for its role.
“Women know they can come to The Breast Center at Floyd and the will receive the highest level of care possible in a patient-centric way. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the administrative support of Floyd Medical Center.”
Dr. Hom, president of SouthEastern Pathology, P.C., agreed that working together resulted in what was best for the patient, a 24-hour turn-around time.
“I can fully appreciate the anxiety produced in having to wait for a result, and reporting results this quickly is very gratifying to us,” Dr. Hom added. “The major concern when we began this program was not sacrificing quality for a quick diagnosis and with the help of the histology departments at Floyd Medical Center and SouthEastern Pathology we can have the slides quickly including special stains.”
Griffin called the collaboration between Rome Radiology Group, Harbin Clinic and SouthEastern Pathology outstanding.
“We have created a state-of-the art program where women in northwest Georgia have access to the most efficient, compassionate and highest quality care available,” she said.
The Mobile Mammography Coach has also played a huge role in reaching more women earlier.
“It was critically important to us to realize there were certain women not getting screened because they were the primary breadwinners in their families and they worked in businesses and industries that did not allowed them to take time off,” Dr. Brock said. “That mammogram machine now goes to industries throughout seven counties and we do mammograms for women who would probably not otherwise make it to a routine screening.”