The mammography department of Huguley Imaging Center received a perfect score on its recent annual inspection by the Food and Drug Administration. The certified inspector examines mammographic equipment, personnel training, and quality control procedures and frequencies. The inspection certifies that the facility maintains stringent quality standards, thus ensuring patients receive high-quality images to facilitate early breast cancer detection.
In 1992, the United States Congress approved the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) to regulate and inspect mammography facilities. Requirements include:
· Physicians who interpret mammograms, radiologic technologists who perform mammography, and medical physicists who survey mammography equipment must have adequate training and experience.
· Each mammography facility must have an effective quality control program and maintain thorough records.
· Each facility must submit typical mammography images to the FDA for review. The FDA will evaluate the mammogram’s quality and the amount of radiation used to obtain the images (radiation levels are required to be low).
· Each mammography facility must provide timely written communication to patients and their physicians, must develop systems for following up on abnormal mammograms, and must obtain biopsy results.
“We have always taken pride in our scores on our annual MQSA inspection, but this year we are especially proud the inspector found no deficiencies in the six-hour exam. We credit this to our thorough, attentive staff and our new digital mammography equipment,” said Julie Prunty, Huguley Imaging Center Coordinator.
In 2006, Huguley Imaging Center opened with all digital technology. The mammography equipment, the Hologic® Lorad Selenia™, is twice as fast as traditional mammograms and uses soft, warm pads for the patient’s comfort. The outstanding image quality yields a 28% increase in breast cancer detection at its earliest stages. Digital imaging requires no film or darkroom equipment, which is a frequent cause of citations on the annual MQSA inspection.
“The purpose of the inspection is to assure patients that they are receiving a quality mammogram on accurate equipment by qualified staff. Although the inspection is a one-day event, the efforts to provide precise, reliable mammograms continue with each patient we treat,” said Mrs. Prunty.