Feature | September 05, 2013

Hospital Mammography Recall Rates Higher

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, 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 Lourenco.

When the researchers compared the two groups of patients, they found some important differences that could have influenced recall rates. Significantly more of the hospital patients had undergone previous surgeries and biopsies. Slightly more than 13 percent of the patients at the hospital site had a history of surgery, compared with 5.6 percent at the community site, and 7 percent of patients at the hospital had undergone a biopsy, compared with 1.4 percent at the community site. “These patients may have more complicated mammograms to interpret or may be at higher risk for cancer than patients at the community site,” Lourenco said. “Higher risk patients would be expected to increase the recall rate of the population.”

Another key factor was the age of the patients. The mean age of the patients at the hospital site was 56 years, compared with a mean age of 63 years at the private practice. “Younger age has been associated with higher recall rates,” Lourenco said.

While Lourenco commended efforts to develop quality metrics for breast cancer screening, she cautioned that recall rates are affected by factors out of the radiologist’s control and, therefore, cannot alone determine the quality of a radiologist or an institution.

For more information: RadiologyInfo.org

Related Content

QView Medical Showcases QVCAD for ABUS Exams at RSNA 2018
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | November 19, 2018
QView Medical will showcase QVCAD, the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved artificial intelligence (...
Lunit Unveiling AI-Based Mammography Solution at RSNA 2018
News | Mammography | November 15, 2018
Medical artificial intelligence (AI) software company Lunit will be returning to the 104th Radiological Society of...
Breast Density Advocate Nancy M. Cappello Passes Away

Nancy Cappello. Image courtesy of AreYouDense.org.

News | Breast Density | November 15, 2018 | Jeff Zagoudis, Associate Editor
Imaging Technology News extends its condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D., who...
Merit Medical Completes Acquisition of Cianna Medical
News | Women's Health | November 14, 2018
Disposable device manufacturer Merit Medical Systems Inc. announced the closing of a definitive merger agreement to...
The MOZART Supra Specimen Tomosynthesis System is the latest generation of 3-D imaging for breast cancer surgery.
News | Breast Imaging | November 08, 2018
KUBTEC announced the launch of a new innovation in the treatment of breast cancer. The Mozart Supra Specimen...
Feature | Breast Imaging | November 07, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis
Breast imaging technology has experienced major growth over the last decade or so, and a new report suggests the mark
Philips’ Compressed SENSE technology helps shorten MRI exams by eliminating redundant radiofrequency signals from the acquisition phase. The software reconstructs any missing  information to maintain high image quality. (Images courtesy of Philips/University Hospital Cologne)

Philips’ Compressed SENSE technology helps shorten MRI exams by eliminating redundant radiofrequency signals from the acquisition phase. The software reconstructs any missing information to maintain high image quality. (Images courtesy of Philips/University Hospital Cologne)

Feature | Breast Imaging | November 05, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis
The incidence of breast cancer is rising globally, with an estimated 1 in 8 women diagnosed in their lifetime and 40,...
Deaconess Health System Chooses Sectra as Enterprise Imaging Vendor
News | Enterprise Imaging | November 02, 2018
International medical imaging information technology (IT) and cybersecurity company Sectra will install its enterprise...
Volpara Enterprise Cloud Reaches 1 Million Mammograms Stored
News | Mammography | October 31, 2018
Volpara Solutions announced that the data stored in the Volpara Enterprise cloud now exceeds 1 million mammographic...