Publication Abstract

Authors: Kåresen R, Hervik A, Schlichting E

Title: [Medical logistics: principles applied to diagnostics and therapy in women with symptoms and signs of breast cancer].

Journal: Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 123(12):1687-90

Date: 2003 Jun 12

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Using breast cancer as an example, we suggest that medical logistics should be introduced as a method for continuous improvement of quality and cost-effectiveness in the health care system. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ullevaal University Hospital has approximately 500 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer per year. The triple diagnostic test supplemented by MRI are the diagnostic tools. We rely on fine needle aspiration cytology as the only morphological test before surgery, which is done as day surgery. 70 % of the patients return home on the same day, the others stay in a patient hotel until the drains can be removed. The sentinel node procedure is routine and has been done on 610 patients. RESULTS: Of 1502 radically operated, 2 had false positive cytology (0.12 per cent). Of 610 sentinel node cases, 91 % were found; of these, 23 % had metastasis. Among the negative cases, two have so far experienced recurrence of the disease in the axilla. The patients are well satisfied. Total yearly savings compared to the era before sentinel node and use of a patient hotel has been calculated to approximately 400 000 euro. INTERPRETATION: We find our results so far acceptable as regards the use of fine needle aspiration cytology as well as the sentinel node. Both techniques are, however, technically demanding and should only be used in centres that have continuous quality monitoring.