SOUTHBRIDGE, MA, May 2, 2019 — Harrington Hospital has been designated a Lung Cancer Screening Center by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
The ACR Lung Cancer Screening Center designation is a voluntary program that recognizes facilities that have committed to practice safe, effective diagnostic care for individuals at the highest risk for lung cancer.
In 2015, Harrington launched its Early Lung Cancer Screening Detection Program, which provides guidelines for high-risk patients to receive a CT scan to identify any areas of concern.
Patients who qualify for the screenings are those aged 55-77, current smokers or those who quit fewer than 15 years ago, and those with a personal history of 30-pack years (meaning one pack per day for 30 years, two packs per day for 15 years and so on).
The program begins with a consultation from a referring physician and includes a discussion about the patient playing a proactive role in their health.
The screening is a 10-minute low-dose CT scan, offered at Harrington’s Southbridge and Webster campuses. Harrington’s radiology team in conjunction with leading experts at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School study the results. A multidisciplinary team composed of radiologists, nurses, oncologists, thoracic surgeons and pulmonologists meet regularly to review the findings and plan appropriate treatment pathways.
The program has continued to grow each year. Demographically, Southbridge has one of the highest levels of lung cancer incidences and mortalities in the region.
Harrington completed 1,144 scans in 2018, a 24 percent increase over 2017 and a 57 percent increase over the first full year of the program in 2016. Harrington Interventional Radiology Nurse and Nurse Navigator of the Lung Screening Program, Jean Comeau, anticipates a 10 percent increase by the end of 2019, adding close working relationships have been developed, both within Harrington Physician Services and surrounding communities.
This is the second year in a row Harrington has also been designated a Screening Center of Excellence by the Lung Cancer Alliance.
In order to receive the designation, a facility must be accredited by the ACR in computed tomography in the chest module, as well as undergo a rigorous assessment of its lung cancer screening protocol and infrastructure. Also required are procedures in place for follow-up patient care, such as counseling and smoking cessation programs.
Lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography scans, and appropriate follow-up care, significantly reduces lung cancer deaths.
For more information about the Lung Cancer Screening Center designation, visit acr.org