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RSNA: Hospital Mammography Recall Rates Higher
Date:7/23/2013

Oak Brook, Ill. (PRWEB) July 23, 2013

The rate at which women get called back for additional imaging after screening mammography may be higher at hospitals than at community office practices, mostly due to differences among the patients, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The findings highlight the limitations of recall rates as a quality measure for breast cancer screening, the researchers said.

Recall rates for mammography refer to the percentage of women who undergo screening and are called back for additional testing. Since recalls involve anxiety for patients and additional costs, there have been efforts to keep these rates as low as possible.

"Recall rate by itself is used as a quality indicator by the federal government," said Ana Lourenco, M.D., radiologist at the Rhode Island Hospital and the Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University in Providence, R.I. "Therefore, it remains important to understand the factors that influence recall rate for individuals and practices."

To better understand these factors, Dr. Lourenco and colleagues reviewed data between May 2008 and September 2011 for five radiologists with expertise in breast imaging who interpreted mammograms at a community office practice and an academic referral hospital. Both sites utilized full-field digital mammography and batch screening interpretation.

The radiologists interpreted a total of 74,297 screening mammograms between both sites during the study. The total number of patients recalled was 5,799, for an overall recall rate of 7.8 percent. At 6.9 percent, the recall rate at the community site was significantly lower than the hospital rate of 8.6 percent.

"For every radiologist, the recall rate was significantly lower in community practice than in the hospital setting," noted Dr. Lourenco.

When the researchers compared the two groups of patien
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