Breast screening assessment clinics: as easy as ABC
© BioMed Central Ltd 2008
Published: 7 July 2008
We have introduced a simple ABC classification system to streamline the patient pathway during the assessment clinic. Abnormalities are graded as A, B or C at consensus by the radiologists and reporting radiographers depending upon the mammographic likelihood of cancer and biopsy. This means that patients can be allocated to one of our three assessment clinics and at specific times within those clinics to facilitate workflow. This system has been in place for several years. Clinics have an average of eight patients and finish on time with minimal patient delay. We were interested to see how accurately our grading system correlated with final diagnosis, number of biopsies and additional films.
We audited 30 assessments.
Films per patient: A, 0.7; B, 1.9; C, 2.2. Biopsy rate per patient: A, 0; B, 0.27; C, 0.7. Cancer diagnosis per patient: A, 0; B, 0.18; C, 0.44.
The results confirm that our grading system correlates with final diagnosis, the number of films and the biopsy rate. The planned extension of the breast screening programme will further increase workload in the assessment clinics. A simple ABC grading method can be introduced easily within the screening programme to improve assessment clinic efficiency.