Software causes mammogram mismatches

BreastScreen Victoria has written to 5339 women after data mismatches occurred in its mammogram screening software.

BreastScreen Victoria has written to 5339 women after data mismatches occurred in its mammogram screening software.

(CPMC Surgery image by Artur Bergman, CC BY-SA 2.0)

BreastScreen Victoria radiologists conduct mammograms by looking at two screens: one containing a patient's file data and the other containing the image. The breast X-ray is then reviewed independently by two radiologists and, if the two cannot reach a conclusion, a third is brought in for further consultation.

Radiologists flagged a problem in the screening process in early October. The program taking the X-ray images failed to match them to correct patient details. The information mismatch has cast doubt over whether mammograms were reviewed a second time by doctors between 16 September and 4 October.

BreastScreen Victoria's chief executive officer, Vicki Pridmore, has however said today that no woman needs to be re-screened, as all mammogram images have correct patient names embedded.

"I want to reassure all women that there is no issue with their mammography itself, nor with the images taken, each of which is correctly named," she said.

"No woman needs to be re-screened or take any action although as always, we strongly advise any woman who has symptoms to visit their GP as soon as possible," Pridmore added.

BreastScreen Victoria said that a review of all the images will take place immediately, with results to be issued before Christmas.

A system process has been put in place to ensure that the data mismatches no longer occur. As of 28 October, the system will check for data mismatches and won't send out results if it flags a problem.

Any woman who wants more information is encouraged to call 13 20 50 or visit BreastScreen Victoria's website.

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