Central Health finds another possible error in review of mammogram results

·2 min read
Mammogram images under review were captured at the James Paton Memorial Hospital and Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre, says Central Health.  (CBC - image credit)
Mammogram images under review were captured at the James Paton Memorial Hospital and Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre, says Central Health. (CBC - image credit)
CBC
CBC

Central Health has found another discrepancy in its review of mammography results triggered by the discovery that the monitors at some of its work stations are not up to technical standards.

The health authority is poring over 3,000 images, dating back to 2019, after announcing last week that some results were initially read on monitors with lower resolution than required. An external radiologist, Dr. Nancy Wadden, is reviewing all images read on three-megapixel monitors — the standard screen resolution is five megapixels — from Nov. 1, 2019, to Aug 19 of this year.

Last week, Central Health said out of the 461 images that had been reviewed at the time, three were found to have "potential discrepancies or deferring interpretations." On Monday, the health authority added one more to the list, with the images of 837 patients having now been reviewed as of Friday.

"A sample review conducted by Central Health suggests the occurrence presents a low risk to patients," the health authority said in a statement Monday afternoon.

"We are still gathering information about this occurrence and are currently in the initial phases of an internal quality review."

Central Health said the discrepancies have to do with to the interpretation of the mammography images and not the images themselves or the way the exam was conducted.

The images under review were captured at the James Paton Memorial Hospital and Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre, the health authority said, adding images captured at the its breast screening program on Roe Avenue in Gander are not involved in the review. Central Health didn't say where the images were originally examined. 

"We want to reassure everyone that only workstations that meet the technical standards for mammogram interpretation are now being used for the review of mammography images across Central Health," reads Monday's statement.

"Current and future mammograms will not be affected by this occurrence."

Patients whose mammography images are under review should have received a letter from Central Health, said the health authority. The letters were mailed on Thursday.

Patients whose images do not show any potential discrepancies or differing interpretations will also receive a letter from Central Health by the end of September confirming the results.

Central Health said doctors will be contacted by the health authority and there will be phone calls and followup letter to patients whose images show potential diagnostic discrepancies or differing interpretations.

All four of the province's health authorities are reviewing mammography images.

On Monday, Eastern Health, the province's largest health authority, said it will deliver an update this week.

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