WMC Diagnostic Center Resumes Mammography Services | Winchester Star


WINCHESTER – After nearly six months, Winchester Medical Center resumed mammography services at its diagnostic center.

“It was a hell of a odyssey” Health Valley President and CEO Mark H. Merrill said Tuesday in an interview. Valley Health is the parent company of WMC.

Services were discontinued on August 31 after an annual inspection by the American College of Radiology (ACR) questioned the quality of some mammograms performed at the diagnostic center from June 2017 to August 2019. Although mammography equipment functioned properly during this period, Merrill said inspectors determined that staff no had not positioned or compressed certain breasts with precision, which led to analyzes. that were not sharp enough. As a result, anyone who had a mammogram at the facility from June 2017 to August 2019 was encouraged to either have their ultrasound reassessed or have a new ultrasound at another Valley Health facility.

Before the service was suspended, the diagnostic center, located at 300, boulevard Campus, performed approximately 550 mammograms each week. Most women have the procedure done every year to detect cancer and other breast diseases.

When services were suspended, Valley Health created a call center to answer patient questions, but hospital officials were initially limited in what they could say publicly about the suspension due to United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confidentiality requirements.

That changed in mid-December when Valley Health’s corrective action plan was approved by the FDA, paving the way for the healthcare provider to send approximately 25,000 certified letters explaining the situation to patients at the diagnostic center. .

The corrective action plan submitted to the FDA included improved training for diagnostic center staff and refresher training at Valley Health’s other five hospitals that offer mammography services – Warren Memorial Hospital at Front Royal, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock, Page Memorial Hospital in Luray, Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, West Virginia, and War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.

After the corrective action plan was successful, mammography services resumed at the Diagnostic Center on Monday.

“We obviously hope that patients will have another mammogram as soon as possible,” Merrill said Tuesday.

In anticipation of a large number of mammography appointments in the coming weeks, the diagnostic center has hired additional staff for the next six months and has set up a mobile mammography unit on site, he said. he declares.

Merrill admitted he was “disappointed” with the circumstances that led to the suspension of the Diagnostic Center’s mammography services, as well as Valley Health’s subsequent inability to share full information due to FDA regulations.

In a Monday press release announcing the resumption of mammography services, Merrill said, “We apologize for the uncertainty, inconvenience and, in some cases, personal stress created by this prolonged situation.

“The entire Valley Health team is eager to return to serving our patients and regaining the trust of the community. “

“We have tried to be as transparent as possible,” he added on Tuesday. “We are a learning organization and we are committed to continuous improvement. “

Patients at the Diagnostic Center who wish to make an appointment for a mammogram are asked to call 540-536-8988.

For more information about Valley Health and its facilities and services, visit valleyhealthlink.com.

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