BI-RADS 3 (short-interval follow-up) assessment rate at diagnostic mammography: Correlation with recall rates and utilization as a performance benchmark


Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center


© 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The purpose of this study was to identify a correlation between the screening BI-RADS 0 (recall) rates and diagnostic BI-RADS 3 (short-interval follow-up) rates of individual interpreting radiologists, with the goal of utilizing the BI-RADS 3 rate as an acceptable performance metric in the diagnostic population. A multicenter retrospective analysis of medical audit statistics was conducted on annual radiologist performance data collected over a 14-year period in a community hospital-based practice. Mixed regression models were used to estimate the association between screening BI-RADS 0 and diagnostic BI-RADS 3 examinations while adjusting for calendar year, annual radiologist screening volume, annual radiologist diagnostic volume, and diagnostic examination indication. A moderate statistically significant positive correlation was established between the screening BI-RADS 0 rates and Diagnostic BI-RADS 3 rates (Pearson correlation coefficient + 0.349, P ≤.001). Furthermore, when utilizing a national benchmark range of 8%-12% as an acceptable BI-RADS 0 rate within a screening population, the correlative BI-RADS 3 assessment rate was demonstrated to be approximately 16%. We propose that this BI-RADS category 3 rate may represent an additional acceptable performance metric in the diagnostic population. Routine inclusion of an interpreting mammographer's diagnostic BI-RADS 3 rate in the annual medical audit may help reduce inappropriate and/or excess use of the BI-RADS 3 category, which may lead to significant potential reductions in follow-up examinations with their associated healthcare-related costs, resource expenditure, and induced patient anxiety.

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