We sent a questionnaire to fellows of the Society of Breast Imaging to determine how breast imaging facilities comply with regulations mandated by the Mammography Quality Standards Act for tracking patients whose mammograms show positive findings.We surveyed the Society of Breast Imaging fellows to determine practice types, follow-up methodology, additional time and personnel required, and end points of radiologists' responsibility for follow-up of mammograms with positive findings.Forty-six (68%) of 68 surveyed practices responded, including 21 academic, 16 private, and nine mixed practices that averaged 15,761 mammograms a year (range, 300-50,000). The 46 practices used computers (n = 30) or handwritten paper (n = 16) audits. Radiologists (n = 8), technologists (n = 6), other personnel (n = 10), or a combination (n = 22) tracked procedures and patients with abnormal mammographic results. Average time spent tracking was given as a few hours a week (n = 28), 2-4 hr a day (n = 11), and 40 hr a week (n = 5). The remaining two practices indicated that less than 1 hr per month was required (n = 1) or that they used two full-time data managers (n = 1). Accepted tracking end points included surgical biopsy (n = 30), referring physician recommended other management (n = 16), patient refused recommendation (n = 27), medical care transfer (n = 27), patient moved (n = 22), or patient lost to referring physician follow-up (n = 16).Among dedicated mammographers, the methodology in the task of tracking patients with positive findings on mammography varies. All methodologies described in responses to our survey involved considerable time and effort.
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View details for PubMedID 10063862