Regional Health Authorities Provide Update on Mammography Review

September 29, 2022 – St. John’s, NL: Three regional health authorities (Eastern Health, Labrador-Grenfell Health and Western Health) are providing an update on the ongoing mammography review for patients. To date, approximately 81 per cent of patients have had their mammography reviews completed.

The below table outlines the number of patients who have had their mammograms reviewed requiring no change, as of Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Of 10,883 patients, 8,798 patients have been reviewed with no change, with 30 patients who require further assessment. The percentage of patients requiring follow-up remains stable at 0.3 per cent.

Regional Health Authority Number of patients reviewed with no change as of Sept. 28, 2022
Eastern Health 2,837
Labrador-Grenfell Health 1,336
Western Health 4,634
Total 8,807*

*Note: This count includes patients more than once when there are exams in multiple RHAs. The number of unique patients is 8,798.

The regional health authorities have sent letters to those patients whose images are subject to the review and are in the process of following up on those with either expired MCP or invalid addresses. The regional health authorities are reviewing mammography exams, and patients whose examination report did not change, have started to receive a second letter stating their review is complete. This process may take until the end of October to complete.

For those patients whose images show possible discrepancies, the regional health authorities will complete the following steps before the end of October:

  • contact patients’ primary health-care providers;
  • contact patients by phone;
  • contact patients with a follow-up letter outlining next steps.

The review pertains to how the mammography images were viewed and not the quality of the images themselves, or the way the exam was conducted. There were no defective monitors used. To clarify, 5-megapixel monitors are the standard for the review of mammography images, while 3-megapixel monitors are the standard for all other types of images, such as X-rays and CT scans. Only workstations that meet the technical standards for mammogram interpretation are now being used for the review of mammography images, and that current and future mammograms are not affected.

Patients are encouraged to continue to attend their mammogram appointments. All scheduled mammograms are proceeding and will be read to technical standards. This review has no impact on mammograms that are being completed at this time.

The regional health authorities apologize to all affected patients for any concern this review has caused. Please be assured that the regional health authorities are taking all the required steps to complete this review in a timely and thorough manner, and are committed to regular communication on this topic.

Patients, who may have questions, can call the toll-free number at 1-833-960-4574 between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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Last updated: 2022-09-29