June 11, 2009
Digital Mammography Ready for Use in Webster

Advanced diagnostic system approved for use at Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard

(WEBSTER, Mass. – June 11, 2009) – Digital Mammography, considered the gold standard of testing in radiology services, will be available for patients at Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard beginning June 15.

The new Hologic digital mammography system offers a number of practical advantages and patient conveniences, as well as incorporating revolutionary imaging technology and providing sharper images. Instead of using film to capture and record an image, the machine uses a special detector to capture and convert x-ray energy into a digital image. These results can be enhanced and manipulated for higher levels of detection and analysis, and are available immediately to the radiologists.

“We had already begun to explore the process of incorporating digital mammography in Webster when we officially transitioned to Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard in May,” said Kathy Franco-Anthony, Harrington Director of Imaging and Cardiopulmonary Services. “Originally, we were slated to begin offering services the end of the month, but the perseverance of the staff and management involved allowed us to offer this standard of testing earlier than expected.”

This past week, the campus received approval from several stringent regulatory offices, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, American College of Radiology and US Food and Drug Administration. Among other criteria, the approval process reviews the facilitys ability to meet baseline standards for equipment, personnel and practices under the Mammography Quality Standards Act.

“The inclusion of Digital Mammography sets the bar at the highest level for patients in the Webster area and works toward our goal to provide the same quality standards of care at both Harrington campuses,” Harrington CEO and President Ed Moore said. “I am proud to be able to offer digital mammography here. The accomplishment is just one of many we are working toward.”

Because there is no waiting for film to be developed, digital mammography can significantly reduce the time patients spend having the exam done, as well as reduce the need for repeat exams due to under or over exposure. The digital images are easily stored and transferred electronically, eliminating misfiling or losing original films.

To supplement this technology, Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard has incorporated digital Computer-Aided Detection (CAD), which highlights characteristics commonly associated with breast cancer. When activated, it flags abnormalities to help the radiologist detect early breast cancer. CAD is, in essence, a second set of eyes to support and enhance the radiologists judgment.

For the patients added comfort, the campus has included the use of MammoPads – a soft, foam cushion for each womans personal use during their exam. The cushion is placed on the imaging receptor, creating a warmer, softer surface between the woman and the mammography system. Clinical studies show that use of MammoPad reduces discomfort by 50% for three out of four women.

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