In recent years, many cutting-edge radiology facilities that perform breast imaging have begun offering a new imaging technology called digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) in addition to or in place of standard mammography exams.
Compared to most medical imaging studies, mammograms are subject to a higher level of scrutiny. In addition to needing FDA approval, those working with mammograms must be in compliance with the Mammography Quality and Safety Act (MQSA), which defines how long studies must be saved and what kind of equipment studies can be read on.
Photo Credit ACRIN/Hologic
Currently, there are disagreements about the appropriate starting age and frequency of mammographic breast scans. However, due to recent governmental recommendations and reduced insurance reimbursement, the frequency of these radiologic visits will likely be delayed to once every two years. Concurrent with these new recommendations, advances in technology have emerged to supplement mammography to enhance the detection of breast tissue tumors without increasing the incidence of false positives. Both new technology and the likely increase in the span between imaging examinations pose challenges to your PACS.
Is your facility prepared to handle these coming changes in breast imaging? This post will help you navigate these issues and outline PACS requirements for Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT), 3D Mammography, MRI, and Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) that you should consider.