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Mammography Quality Act

The Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA)

breast examThe primary objective of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) of 1992 is to ensure that mammography is safe and reliable and that breast mammograms detect breast cancer in its most treatable stages. The Food and Drug Administration has the responsibility for implementing and enforcing MQSA, which requires that all mammography facilities and mobile xray services in the United States meet certain stringent quality standards, be accredited by an FDA -approved accreditation body, and be inspected annually.

Physicians who interpret mammograms must now be board certified or have three months of training in mammography, technologists must keep their skills current by doing an average of 200 mammograms every two years, and medical physicists, who survey mammography equipment and facilities, must meet initial and continuing education and experience requirements.

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Of significant importance to women is the MQSA regulation that requires mammography facilities and mobile x-ray facilities  to give patients an easy-to-read report on the results of their mammogram. Prior to MQSA, mammography facilities were not required to communicate results directly to patients and, instead, sent results only to the referring physician. Referring physicians will continue to receive the results. Self-referred patients with no designated health-care provider will receive both the simplified report and the one doctors normally receive.

MQSA also clarifies the responsibility of facilities that provide breast mammograms to retain and transfer mammograms to a patient's physician or to the patient directly, regardless of whether the transfer is permanent or temporary. This is important because it aids diagnosis by allowing doctors to compare old mammograms with new ones.

To be MQSA-certified, a mammography facility must be accredited by a federally approved private, nonprofit or state accreditation body. FDA has approved the American College of Radiology (ACR) and some States  as accreditation bodies.

To be accredited, the facility must apply to an FDA-approved accreditation body, undergo periodic review of its clinical images, have an annual survey by a medical physicist, and meet federally developed quality standards for personnel qualifications, equipment quality assurance programs, and record keeping and reporting. Our mobile X-ray facility must also undergo an annual inspection conducted by federally trained and certified federal or state personnel. The  certificate is  displayed at our facility. FDA encourages women getting breast mammograms to look for this certificate

Ensuring High-Quality Mammography Imaging for Accurate Breast Mammograms

FDA has focused on the quality of breast mammograms since 1974, when it was revealed that mammography techniques used in some medical facilities had resulted in unnecessarily high doses of radiation. Since then the industry has worked continuously to improve the equipment and as a result radiation doses began to decrease.  The American College of Radiology agreed to try to help with the mammography quality assurance challenge and in 1987 established its mammography accrediting program. Since then  FDA regulated the equipment and ACR policed the facilities.

Our board-certified, registered technologists and support staff are ready to work hard to win and maintain your loyalty. You can truly count on our commitment to excellence.

 

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