Summary: At 6.9%, the recall rate at the community site was significantly lower than the hospital rate of 8.6%.
July 26, 2013
– Mammography recall rates were 8.6% at an academic referral hospital compared
with 6.9% at a community radiology practice, according to a new study.1
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 the study.1
The study was designed to determine whether screening mammography recall rates for individual radiologists varies as a function of imaging site. Ana Lourenco, MD, radiologist at the Rhode Island Hospital and the Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University in Providence, RI, and colleagues reviewed data between May 2008 and September 2011.
The 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%. At 6.9%, the recall rate at the community site was significantly lower than the hospital rate of 8.6%.
They found there
significantly more of the hospital patients had undergone previous surgeries
and biopsies. Slightly more than 13% of the patients at the hospital site had a
history of surgery, compared with 5.6% at the community site, and 7% of
patients at the hospital had undergone a biopsy, compared with 1.4% at the
every radiologist, the recall rate was significantly lower in community
practice than in the hospital setting," noted Dr. Lourenco.
patients may have more complicated mammograms to interpret or may be at higher
risk for cancer than patients at the community site," Dr. Lourenco said.
"Higher risk patients would be expected to increase the recall rate of the
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
age has been associated with higher recall rates," Dr. Lourenco said.
Dr. Lourenco noted
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. The findings highlight the limitations of recall rates as a
quality measure for breast cancer screening, the researchers said.
Lourenco A, Rothschild J, and Mainiero MB. Screening
Mammography Recall Rate: Does Practice Site Matter? Radiology. http://radiology.rsna.org/. 2013;July 24.
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