Geisinger launches ‘first-of-its-kind’ system to allow open access to past breast exams

Geisinger healthcare system is aiming to improve breast care management for its patients by bolstering access to past exam records.

The Danville, Pennsylvania-based hospital system announced Oct. 31, that its teaming with data network Life Image on the initiative. Together, they’ll offer what they say is a first-of-its-kind tool that will allow patients to request, store and share their previous mammograms and any other relevant breast health records.

Those involved said that such access is crucial for early cancer detection, and will hopefully help to avoid any unnecessary, duplicative testing in the future. Also, the network—which they’re dubbing as “Mammosphere”—will be secure and compliant with patient privacy regulations.

"Mammosphere provides a resource for both patients and providers to easily share breast health images and exams,” Geisinger Associate Chief Information Officer Joe Fisne, said in a prepared statement. “With access to patient mammogram history, providers will have everything needed to provide a fast and definitive interpretation of the mammogram.”

The collaboration is fueled by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, aimed at supporting interoperability of health records in the Keystone State. Geisinger has already laid some of the groundwork, establishing the Keystone Health Information Exchange in 2005 as a means to facilitate record sharing among hospitals, physician practices and other providers.

Life Image and Geisinger said they are exploring how they might expand the collaboration to other types of image sharing to further advance the 13-hospital system’s population health goals.