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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Cancer Center Outcomes – 2018

St. Mary’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is an American College of Surgeons (ACS) Commission on Cancer accredited cancer program that provides a level of medical expertise that adheres to standard national guidelines as it provides its patients with a personal level of commitment and compassionate care.

The top five cancers treated in 2018 at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center were:

1. Lung and Bronchus
2. Breast
3. Prostate
4. Colorectal
5. Urinary Bladder

Breast Cancer - Mammography 

In total, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center treated 38 breast cancer patients in 2018, representing 16.17% of total oncology cases annually.

In 2018 St. Mary's Regional Medical Center provided 4280 screening mammograms.  The callback rate was 18.1%.  (The National Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) Benchmark is between 12-14%.) We offered one Saturday screening event in 2018 and increased evening screening availability on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Lung Cancer

In total, we treated 38 lung cancer patients in 2018, representing 22.13% of total oncology cases.

Colorectal Cancer

In 2017, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center was the first member of the MaineHealth Cancer Network to meet the pledged goal with the American Cancer Society of 80% patients screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. In total, 81% of patients meeting guidelines were screened in 2018. 

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center performed 1,589 colonoscopies and 19 Flexible Sigmoidoscopies in 2018.  Of these,18 were diagnosed with colon cancer, which is 7.66% of total cancer cases seen at St. Mary's.

2018 Studies of Quality and Quality Improvement

1) Decrease patient wait time by 25% from point of RN ordering the medication to point of administration.  Patient wait times for medication administration is the most reported patient dissatisfaction.  Patients can wait from 1-3 hours from the point of RN ordering chemotherapy to the point of administration.  Data was collected on a monthly to bimonthly basis and tracked on a spreadsheet that tracked the date and time medications were requested from the pharmacy, time the medication arrived from the pharmacy and the types of medications being ordered.  Study indicated median wait time of 75 minutes and average wait time of 71 minutes.  Peak hours were between 1000 and 1400 which is when “bottlenecking” occurred.  Most chemotherapy agents cannot be sent via the tube system therefore, more time is spent hand delivering to the Infusion Center. Following completion of this study, opportunities for improvement were recognized and implemented. Chemotherapy appointments were spread throughout the day to decrease “bottlenecking” of medication requests. The Pharmacy and Infusion Center staff collaborated with volunteer services for dedicated transport assistance to decrease wait time during the transportation of medications.  Pre-medications were changed from IV premix to IV push so they can be available in the Pyxus rather than waiting for pharmacy staff to mix and transport to the infusion center. These three changes decreased the average wait time to 53 minutes and the median wait time to 45 minutes.  The results of this improvement decreased median wait time by 33.75% and average wait time by 13.11%. 

2) Increasing Pet Scan appointment availability. A quality study was done 3rd and 4th quarter of 2017 which resulted in patients waiting for a pet scan appointment on average of 16.375 days due to limited appointment availability. Data was tracked on number of patients that needed to be referred out of the organization for a scan and the number of days they waited for an appointment. National benchmark wait time is 24 hours for emergent and 7 days for urgent. Based on this study Pet Scan appointment availability was increased from ½ day every Monday to a full day every Monday. Since implementation of increased appointment times the average wait time for a Pet Scan is less than 7 days.

St. Mary's Health System • 93 Campus Avenue • Lewiston, ME 04240