Default Conditional Orders for Lowering Time to Breast Biopsy

Default Conditional Orders for Lowering Time to Breast Biopsy

Project status

Exploration and planning


Sara Ginzberg, MD

Christine Edmonds, MD

Lola Fayanju, MD

Steven Hyland

Innovation leads


When abnormalities are found in a patient’s breast scans, further imaging and sometimes biopsy are required for diagnosis. As the demand for breast biopsies at Penn Medicine has risen, so has time to biopsy – the amount of time between abnormality detection and biopsy completion. As a result, patients may look to other health systems for faster care.

In addition, time to biopsy currently varies by race, insurance type, and practice location in a way that perpetuates health inequities.


With support from the Nudge Unit, a team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has developed default conditional orders to make the breast evaluation pathway more efficient and reduce the need for patient, provider, and staff action. In this workflow, mammogram screening orders are automatically linked with orders to perform additional imaging and biopsy if results indicate that a patient is at high risk for breast cancer.


A pilot study testing this intervention is currently underway. Results will be posted here once available.