The Advocacy Alliance Heath Care Quality Unit
1512 E. Caracas Avenue
Hershey, PA 17033
Scranton Health Care Quality Unit agreed to have The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) MD Year 1 students visit the Advocacy Alliance. We were excited about sharing our HCQU service with the TCMC medical students as they can greatly benefit from shadowing a complex Consumer Data Collection (CDC) survey. The CDC could take place in the community, day program, group home, or long term care facility setting for an observation of how the consumer with a chronic illness and a developmental disability manages in the community.
Students were assigned to the Advocacy Alliance during their Community Week:
Monday, January 30, 2012 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Breast Health Program
Approximately six months ago, the Eastern PA Health Care Quality Unit (HCQU) received a request from The ReDCo Group to assist them in writing a desensitization program for a woman who had not been successful in obtaining a mammogram. The HCQU discussed the request and decided that this may be an opportunity to collaborate with our community hospital and their breast health department in finding ways to promote screening in women who have a developmental disability.
The HCQU scheduled a meeting with the breast health department. The HCQU provided the breast health staff with a DVD that addressed the importance of sensitivity, good communication, and knowledge regarding adaptive positioning techniques that may be helpful in providing care to women with a developmental disability. The supervisor of the breast health department felt that sponsoring a few social type events might be helpful in increasing the comfort level of the women in need of a mammogram. The HCQU decided to consider this a pilot program and proceeded with four women from The ReDCo Group.
The objective of the first reception was getting the women who needed mammograms into the breast health area of the hospital and introducing them to radiology technicians, the breast health nurse, and a receptionist that would work with them. During the second visit the women and their supports professionals took a tour of the breast health area, looked at the mammography machine, and got some additional information regarding breast cancer from the breast health nurse. Refreshments were served at both social events.
A breast health handout was developed. The HCQU presented a training to The ReDCo Group supports professionals and women before each of the hospital meetings and the breast health handout was given to them. Then the supports professionals were asked to review the information in the handout with women twice a week before the day of the mammogram. There was effort and consideration by The ReDCo Group regarding which supports professionals would be working with the women. The objective was to have the supports professionals which the women were most comfortable with review the breast health information and take the women to the breast health social events.
At this point, the HCQU is getting ready to move into the next phase of this program. The hospital has offered to do the mammograms at a time when there are no other distractions and to schedule the women as a group. The technicians that do the mammograms will be those that the women and support professionals have met. The hospital staff gave the HCQU the paperwork that needs to be completed and it has been passed on to the provider staff, with the objective of having the paperwork completed before the visit to minimize waiting time. Before this last visit the HCQU will show a video to the four women and the supports professionals.
The HCQU is encouraging the supports professionals to celebrate the mammogram being done by going out to dinner, or doing something else that is special for the women.