Mammography screening and follow-up processes for abnormal mammograms are complex. The process includes imaging, interpretation, and follow-up, and there are many providers and health care personnel involved.
The mammography screening process begins when a patient walks in the door for a first screening, an continues through the moment they are either told to come back for routine imaging or given a breast cancer diagnosis. So many steps and so many people in a process can make variability in mammographic quality possible across patients and facilities.
A collaborative statewide initiative in Illinois, Equal Hope, studied and showed variability in mammographic quality in the greater Chicago area. The Illinois initiative addressed this variability and saw reductions in breast cancer disparities.