Mercy Health - Cincinnati Pursues Early Detection

Hologic Genius 3D MammographyTM Systems Available at All Locations

Approximately 12 percent of women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime1. However, over 98 percent of breast cancer patients have a five-year survival rate when it is caught early2.  To provide the best and earliest detection of breast cancer available, Mercy Health uses Hologic Genius 3D Mammography at The Jewish Hospital, Anderson Hospital, Fairfield Hospital, West Hospital and in the Cincinnati area’s largest mobile mammography program.

The breakthrough clinical benefits of Hologic Genius 3D mammography are well-known in peer-reviewed scientific literature.  It enables detection of 41 percent more invasive breast cancers and reduces false positives by up to 40 percent3-4. While perhaps sounding too good to be true, the experience at Mercy Health has been similarly impressive.  “During applications training in our first installation we found a nodule that was previously undetected with conventional 2D mammography,” said Becky Allen, Director of Imaging, The Jewish Hospital, Mercy Health.  “The radiologist called me and said ‘I’m a believer.’”

While the early adoption of 3D mammography at Mercy Health quickly realized benefits, it also presented some unique challenges.  “Everyone believed in the technology, but we also knew the procedure wasn’t being reimbursed,” according to Allen.  “Additionally, we knew future revenue would be jeopardized if call backs truly were reduced.  But our entire leadership team understood it was the best thing to do for our patients regardless of the financial implications.  We even included it at no additional charge while other facilities were charging a fee.”  Subsequent call back rates at Mercy Health declined 25 percent on average but procedure volumes grew as word of the new technology spread in the community.

Implementation of 3D mammography also challenges conventional radiological interpretation paradigms.  “Our radiologists knew there would be a learning curve with the new technology but truly wanted the best for patients,” said Allen.  “They were very engaged during the implementation and took full advantage of the fantastic applications support provided with the equipment.”

Converting from conventional 2D mammography to Genius 3D should be thoughtfully considered to ensure a seamless transition.  With more data for the radiologists and new questions from patients and referring physicians, a multi-faceted project plan provides the best path to success.  “For facilities preparing to implement 3D mammography for the first time, consider beginning in slower times of the year,” suggested Allen.  “During the peak screening months of September through December, you want to focus on throughput and patient care.  Implementing your first 3D in late winter or early spring may be a good strategy to ensure you’re prepared for higher volumes later in the year.”

Mercy Health’s 3D mammography project was spearheaded by Alpha Imaging, the Hologic sales and service dealer in Ohio, Indiana and western Pennsylvania.  “The team at Alpha Imaging has been amazing throughout the process,” remarked Allen.  “With any large scale implementation there are many stakeholders, many personalities and many requirements.  Alpha Imaging managed to satisfy everyone during the sales process, installation, training and ongoing service support.  They have the absolute best service people and we’re so happy to partner with them.”

About Mercy Health

Mercy Health - Cincinnati makes advanced, compassionate, quality healthcare easy to help you be well in mind, body and spirit. Mercy Health - Cincinnati has been serving Greater Cincinnati for more than 160 years. Mercy Health – Cincinnati provides an integrated network of leading physicians, compassionate caregivers, comprehensive services and exceptional care at more than 180 locations across the region. The Mercy Health - Cincinnati network of care includes five award-winning hospitals, senior living communities, primary care and specialty physician practices, outpatient centers, social service agencies, fitness centers and a variety of outreach programs. Mercy Health - Cincinnati hospitals have earned national Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals honors more times than all other Cincinnati hospitals combined, placing them among the best hospitals in the nation. Truven has also named Mercy Health- Cincinnati as one of the nation’s Top 15 health systems two years in a row. Mercy Health - Cincinnati is the only health system in Cincinnati to earn this honor. Mercy Health - Cincinnati is part of Mercy Health, formerly Catholic Health Partners, the largest health system in Ohio and fourth largest employer in the state. To learn more visit, and engage in the conversation via Mercy Health - Cincinnati’s social media channels (@mercy_health on Twitter and Mercy Health on Facebook).




3              Friedewald S, Rafferty E, Rose S, et al. (2014). Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 311(24), 2499-2507

4              Rose S, Tidwell A, Bujnock L, et al. “Implementation of Breast Tomosynthesis in a Routine Screening Practice: An Observational Study.” American Journal of Roentengenology. 2013 Jun; 200(6): 1401-1408. Epub 2013 May 22.


©2014 Hologic, Inc. All rights reserved. Specifications subject to change without notice. Hologic, Dimensions, Genius 3D mammography, Selenia, and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Hologic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries.

Genius 3D mammography available as Hologic Selenia Dimensions 3D system.  Please consult your physician for a complete list of benefits and risks associated with mammography.