Peer Review of Screening Mammograms Decreased False Positives

May 20, 2016
Diagnostic Imaging Staff

The number of false positives and callbacks dropped with peer review of screening mammography, according to a study at ACR 2016.

Peer review of all screening mammogram callback cases resulted in a reduction of recall rates following screening mammograms, according to a study presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the American College of Radiology. 

Researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Weston, Miami Beach, and Miami Springs, FL, undertook a study to determine if a Practice Quality Improvement Project, implemented on June 1, 2014, would reduce the incidence of false positive rates and callbacks at their facility.

For the study, all BIRADS-0 exams were additionally reviewed by a different, usually more senior radiologist and the consensus was either immediately established or the case was further discussed. The dissenting radiologist would assign final assessment and recommendations. Additionally, group management conducted supplementary training of the front desk staff to encourage patients to obtain prior exams prior to their scheduled screening appointments, and to assist the symptomatic patients with getting proper prescriptions from their referring physicians.

The results showed that the recall rates decreased from 22% to 13% from the beginning of the program through December 31, 2015. Individual recall rates for all breast radiologists also decreased from 18% to 9%.

The researchers concluded that the introduction of peer review of all screening callback cases resulted in a reduction of the group as well as individual recall rates to a number close to the national average, assisted in improving patient satisfaction, and served as an invaluable educational tool for their practice