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Wait times up for screening mammograms, says Health P.E.I.

Common screening mammograms are reserving into August on Prince Edward Island. 

That is “slightly bit longer” than well being officers would love, says Gailyne MacPherson, director of diagnostic imaging for the Island.

“We have had some downtime within the final yr with our machines,” MacPherson mentioned.

“We changed our machines. Received new state-of-the-art machines. So, we lose a bunch of appointments and we have not but caught up with that.”

Fairly a bit of labor goes into a few of these new technological modifications.— Gailyne MacPherson

One other challenge inflicting the rise in wait instances is missed appointments. On common there are about 40 missed appointments a month for mammograms, MacPherson mentioned.

“We consider it’s as a result of individuals aren’t actually anxiously ready for the check as a result of they have no signs,”  MacPherson mentioned.

“It is simply simpler to slide your thoughts if that is the case.”

MacPherson notes there are two completely different streams for mammograms. Persons are prioritized if they’ve irregularities, signs, or a household historical past of diseases corresponding to breast most cancers. Wait instances for these appointments are just a few weeks on common. 

New on-line instrument ‘shall be much less irritating’

Nonetheless, there proceed to be points with screening appointments. There is a phone-in service to e-book and cancel, and Skip the Ready Room is getting used to remind individuals of their appointments. However MacPherson mentioned there are points with the system.

“We have been listening to individuals are having a tough time getting by on the phone traces to e-book their followup appointment,” she mentioned.

A new machine sits in the middle of a room on its own.
Gailyne MacPherson says Well being PEI has new state-of-the-art mammography machines. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

MacPherson mentioned a web based instrument is being developed to roll out early within the new yr.

“So that you can register on your screening mammogram it will ask you a couple of questions after which somebody will monitor that software program and ship you out an appointment with out you having to get by on the phone line,” she mentioned.

“It is going to be much less irritating than making an attempt to repeatedly name and never get by.”

The hope is after the web instrument launches, a part shall be added to permit individuals to cancel simply in order that individuals who need screenings might be moved into the empty spots as a substitute of them going unfilled, she mentioned.

“Actually we will solely make one change at a time, fairly a bit of labor goes into a few of these new technological modifications,” she mentioned.

Well being P.E.I. can also be planning to comply with up with individuals to ask why they missed appointments, MacPherson mentioned.

For extra data on breast screening in P.E.I., visit the program website or name 1-888-592-9888 to schedule an appointment. To discuss with the provincial breast screening co-ordinator, name 902-894-2914.

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