Safe and clean: COVID precautions at the McLaren Macomb Breast Center

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Numbers have shown that women are delaying their annual screening due to COVID concerns.

Breast cancer continues to be the most common form of cancer among women, with one in every eight women diagnosed in their lifetime, while further affecting countless more family members, friends and loved ones who support the patient.

The best chance for fighting the disease, beating it and graduating into survivorship comes with an early diagnosis.

Early diagnosis are achieved, in great part, by keeping to regular screening mammograms as recommended by the patient’s primary care physician.

However, during the pandemic, it’s understandable that many women — and men — may still be hesitant to return to in-person doctor’s visits. Many have and continued to stay away.

But mammograms are one of those procedures that cannot be performed by a virtual visit.

It was that fact which motivated the McLaren Macomb Breast Center to take extra precautions to keep its patients safe during their potentially life-saving screening and — equally important — to make them feel comfortable.

Added safety measures for patients

In the reception area:

  • All employees are wearing clinical masks.
  • Chairs have been distanced, and others have been removed.
  • Protective barriers are in place.
  • Staff are wiping down chairs, door handles and any areas of exposure after each patient.
  • Staff have designated clipboards and pens labeled ‘clean’ and ‘used,’ which are cleaned after each use.
  • Appropriate cleaning products is used throughout out the office.
  • The coffee maker has been disabled.
  • Educational posters (cover your cough etc.) are posted.
  • The entrance door is left open so no patients have to touch the handle.
  • A COVID-19 screening form is completed by each patient and scanned into their chart.

In the procedure space:

  • The office is not using our dressing rooms — patients change in the procedure rooms.
  • Plastic bags are provided for the patient's clothing if desired, or when transporting patient's between rooms is necessary.
  • Technologists are masked, gloved and goggled.
  • Postings are in each room informing the patient of the office’s new COVID procedures, which includes what the staff cleans and how.
  • The laundry hamper is now in the mammography room.
  • After each patient, the room is cleaned with appropriate cleaner: the mammography unit, laundry hamper, machine console, pens, counter, chair and door handles.
  • A specialized covering, "Bella Blanket," is used on all procedures to cover the mammography machine plate.