BBGH MAMMOGRAPHY QUALITY STANDARD REMAINS HIGH

Posted 1 year ago

By Kevin Horn

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The BBGH mammography team responsible for making sure the service at BBGH meets Mammography Quality Standards Act certification requirements includes, l-r – Donna Ryan RT (R) (M); Lead Mammographer Leslie Hulquist RT (R) (M) (CT); Bette Gerlach RT (R) (M) (CT); and Amber Smith RT (R) (M).

Good news was received by the Box Butte General Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Department from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) inspection: the Mammography Program again passed with flying colors.

The MQSA is an annual review required by federal law to make sure every mammography facility in the United States meets quality standards.

“Passing the annual MQSA inspections is an ongoing effort,” said Imaging Department Manager Carolyn Anglesey RT (R)(M)(CT). “It’s a daily routine of quality control and our mammography team does a great job of making sure we meet those standards.” Mammography team members are: Leslie Hulquist RT (R) (M) (CT) – Lead Mammographer; Amber Smith RT (R) (M); Bette Gerlach RT (R) (M) (CT); Donna Ryan RT (R) (M); and Ms. Anglesey.

It’s important to note that meeting MQSA requirements is a large part of the three-year American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation process.

The MQSA standards apply to:

  • the technologist who takes the mammogram
  • the radiologist who interprets the mammogram and
  • the medical physicist who tests the mammography equipment.

“The MQSA helps ensure that mammography is safe and reliable and that consumers receive uniformly high quality services from facilities such as ours,” Ms. Anglesey said.

Some of the criteria that need to be met include radiologists reading at least 940 mammograms in the last 24 months; a yearly inspection of the mammography equipment by a medical physicist; technologists performing at least 200 mammograms annually and attaining 15 hours of continuing education over a three year period in that field.

To become MQSA certified a facility first must be accredited by an Accreditation Body (AB) approved by the FDA. To pass accreditation and subsequently qualify for a MQSA mammography facility certificate, a facility must meet baseline requirements relative to personnel qualifications, equipment performance specifications, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) testing and recordkeeping, and clinical and phantom image reviews.

The FDA web site on MQSA accreditation states, “As part of a certified facility’s responsibilities under the MQSA, it is 1) required to undergo an annual inspection conducted by a Certifying Agency or its agents under contract; 2) undergo random onsite visits by its AB; 3) undergo random clinical image reviews by its AB; 4) have a medical physicist perform an annual medical physics survey; 5) perform periodic Quality Control (QC) tests; and 6) satisfactorily correct inspection observations and any failures uncovered during the physics survey, or other QC tests, within the specified time frames. Additionally, a certified facility must ensure that its personnel meet all initial qualifications and maintain continuing education and experience requirements to fulfill its obligations under the MQSA regulations.”

A mammography exam is one of the most important health exams women take. Remember, the risk of breast cancer increases as one becomes older. Women in their 40s and above should have a mammogram every year. However it is best to confer with your medical provider, who will consider your breast cancer risk in recommending a mammogram schedule to follow.

According to the latest statistics from the FDA, the total annual mammography procedures reported as of May 1, 2013, was 38,595,214.

“Remember … Your best protection is early detection,” Ms. Gerlach said.