Even in this digital age of electronic medical records, it’s still difficult for patients to get their prior mammograms. This is largely in part to the lack of interoperability between health data systems, combined with the migratory nature of today’s patient population.
Mammosphere founder Kathryn Pearson Peyton, MD, recently discussed this topic in Diagnostic Imaging. She explains that without access to a history of images, the detection and cure of breast cancer is far more complex for the caregiver. Dr. Pearson Peyton feels that patients and caregivers need a unified point of access to mammograms that increases accuracy in the early detection of breast cancer and reduces the need for expensive and unnecessary additional imaging, follow-up, and biopsies.
Dr. Pearson Peyton encourages women to do all they can to provide their physicians with prior comparison mammograms to improve the accuracy of their exam interpretations. With increased availability of prior exams, quality of patient care, and outcomes are improved. You can read more about this topic here.