A More Comfortable Mammography Experience for Women Now at DCHC

An industry first, patient-assisted compression device now available at Davis County Hospital & Clinics (DCHC).

(DCHC) can now offer patients access to Senographe’s Pristina Dueta, an innovative patient-assisted compression device for mammography, that allows women to manage their own compression during the exam.

In traditional mammography, the technologist performing the exam compresses the patient’s breast, often causing discomfort. The Pristina Dueta is a patient-assisted compression device for mammography designed to empower the patient for a more enjoyable experience. This new, innovative self-compression feature enables the patient, under technologist supervision, to set the compression that feels right for her – helping to reduce discomfort and addressing one of the main concerns women have for avoiding mammography screening.

“Mammograms can be uncomfortable or even painful for some women,” said DCHC Medical Imaging Manager, Susan Haskell. “With the creation of this patient-assisted compression device, it has the potential to decrease pain associated with the exam, improve the patient experience and increase outcomes for breast cancer screening which we know saves lives.”

How does the self-compression tool work? After the breast is properly positioned by the technologist, the patient can use a handheld wireless remote control to command the mammography machine to adjust the compression paddle based on the patient’s comfort level.

Regular mammograms are an important tool in detecting breast cancer. In fact, evidence shows that finding breast cancer early reduces a woman’s risk of dying from the disease by 25-30 percent or more. Any patient who has ever had a mammogram knows that mammograms are often viewed as not being comfortable. And one in four women avoid getting mammograms because of the fear and anxiety from the potential result and exam discomfort. The choice can delay a breast cancer diagnosis and impact their long-term prognosis.

“No woman should miss out on the potentially life-saving benefits of mammograms out of fear or anxiety of discomfort,” commented Haskell. “The self-compression tool humanizes the mammography experience by increasing comfort and reducing patient anxiety. The system’s potential to help increase the number of annual screening exams is a critical advancement in women’s healthcare. When patients are relaxed, we can get better images and better images lead to a more confident diagnosis. The hope is that increasing comfort during the exam and giving patients the option of working with the technologist to set their own compression will increase compliance, enable early detection and improve outcomes.”

Patients having their 3-D Mammogram at Davis County Hospital & Clinics will be offered the self-compression tool usage prior to their mammography exam. Ask your doctor today about having your mammography completed at Davis County Hospital & Clinics.


DCHC Provides Community Benefit

$2,326,953 in Uncompensated Care and Health Care Services Given Annually

Bloomfield, IA – Davis County Hospital & Clinics provides $2,326,953 in community benefits to Davis County, according to a recently completed assessment of those programs and services. That amount, based on 2018 figures, includes $663,593 in uncompensated care and $1,663,360 in free or discounted community benefits that Davis County Hospital & Clinics specifically implemented to help Davis County residents.

Community benefits are activities designed to improve health status and increase access to health care. Along with uncompensated care (which includes both charity care and bad debt), community benefits include such services and programs as health screenings, support groups, counseling, immunizations, nutritional services and transportation programs.

The results for Davis County Hospital are included in a statewide report by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) that shows Iowa hospitals provided community benefits in 2018 valued at more than $954 million, including more than $253 million in charity care.

“This data demonstrates Davis County Hospital & Clinics’ commitment to making our community healthier,” stated CEO, Veronica Fuhs. “We will continue to provide healthcare services to our community to help those who need it and to ensure that we are working towards improved health and access to care in Davis County.”

The programs and services accounted for in the survey were implemented in direct response to the needs of communities, counties and regions.  Many of these programs and services would not exist without hospital support and leadership.

Uncompensated care and charity care also play roles in the community benefit for services provided by hospitals. Total uncompensated care in 2018 was valued at $537 million in Iowa.  The survey also showed total Medicare and Medicaid losses (at cost) of $232 million.

More patients have been able to obtain services due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but many of the plans have high deductibles and as patients have services, we see an increase in Charity Care and Bad Debt expense. The ACA changes has provided insurance to thousands of individuals who are now able to seek health care.

“Davis County Hospital experienced a $34,418 decrease in Charity Care and a $17,009 increase in Bad Debt expense from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018,” commented Kendra Warning, Chief Financial Officer.  “Our gross patient revenue remained fairly consistent from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2018, with only a 0.07% increase.  As patients elect plans with higher deductibles, which lower premiums but increase the patient’s out-of-pocket expense for services, we may see increases from year to year in Charity Care and Bad Debt expense.”

Iowa hospitals, which employ more than 76,000 people, continue implement strategies that increase value to their patients and communities by offering high-quality care to individuals, addressing the health needs of communities and implementing process improvements that bend the cost curve. By seeking out ways to raise quality, reduce waste and increase safety, Iowa hospitals have become value leaders, as shown in multiple studies by the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, the Commonwealth Fund and others.

These efforts, along with IHA’s ongoing advocacy to create fairer payment methodologies from Medicare and Medicaid, help ensure the financial stability of hospitals, making it possible for them to provide the services and programs most needed by their communities.