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ACR Launches National Mammography Database

Reston, Va. — In July 2009, the American College of Radiology (ACR) will launch the National Mammography Database (NMD), the newest addition to the National Radiology Dose Registry (NRDR), a warehouse of ACR registry databases that compiles data to allow radiology facilities to compare themselves to other facilities regionally and nationally according to facility type.

The NMD — which is based on BI-RADS® — will allow mammography facilities to compare their practice performance and outcome data to practices similar to their own, advance the practice of mammography and implement successful quality improvement programs to improve patient care.

“The College recognized the limited access mammography facilities have to comparative information for national and regional benchmarking,” said Carl D’Orsi, M.D., FACR, chair of Committee on BI-RADS. “One of the best methods to improve life-saving early breast cancer detection is through a national approach to breast imaging, with data we can only achieve through a unified mammography database.”

The NMD will leverage data that mammography practices are already collecting under federal mandate. Facilities can quickly and easily upload their data to the NMD through a Web-based system that integrates with BI-RADS software partners. The data will be compiled to provide benchmarks on individual practice processes and patient outcomes such as cancer detection rates, positive predictive values, and recall rates.

“The NMD represents a valuable tool that will allow breast imagers to track their results in a meaningful, comprehensive way,” said Carol Lee, M.D., FACR, chair of ACR Commission on Breast Imaging. “It also affords the opportunity for us to set benchmarks and improve our performance where needed. The NMD will allow us in the breast imaging community to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to quality care.”

Participants will receive semiannual feedback reports that include comparisons with important medical audit benchmark data. “The NMD conveniently and accurately produces clinically meaningful mammography audits, with outcomes reported for individual radiologists and for the entire mammography facility, accompanied by comparisons to concurrent benchmark data from similar radiologists, facilities, and the entire U.S.”said Edward Sickles, M.D., FACR, chair of the National Mammography Database Committee.

A practice or facility that chooses to participate in the NMD can also take advantage of the other ACR registries as appropriate for the practice. When a facility joins more than one registry, the NRDR warehouse allows information to be shared across registries within the facility. In addition to the NMD, NRDR includes the registries below:

* National Oncology PET Registry
* CT Colonography Registry
* General Radiology Improvement Database
* Dose Index Registry
* IV Contrast Extravasation Registry

Facilities registered for the NMD by January 2010 will be named charter members and are eligible for a 50 percent discount off the 2009 and 2010 annual membership fees. The goal is to provide accurate, up-to-date information for mammography facilities and enable them to provide the best care possible to their patients.

For more information about the NMD, visit the National Mammography Database at NRDR.acr.org/NMD or e-mail nrdr@acr.org.

To arrange an interview with an ACR spokesperson, please contact ACR Director of Public Affairs Shawn Farley at 703-648-8936 or sfarley@acr.org.

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