Accreditation for digital mammography

Several months ago, digital mammography became available at Riverwood Healthcare Center’s hospital in Aitkin and clinics in Garrison and McGregor. This fall, the American College of Radiology (ACR) gave its gold seal of approval, awarding Riverwood accreditation for all three of its mammography sites. This means that the healthcare facility meets national standards for imaging quality and safety.

When you see the ACR gold seal, your prescribed imaging test is being done by a facility that has met the highest level of imaging quality and radiation safety. To achieve accreditation for mammography, a healthcare facility has to meet specified personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance and quality control procedures. 

“Our facility has voluntarily gone through a rigorous review process to ensure that we meet nationally accepted standards of care,” says Julie Siemers, manager of Riverwood’s Radiology department. “Patients can rest assured that our staff is well qualified and experienced in operating the digital mammography equipment, and we have an expert team of radiologists who interpret mammography images.”

How digital mammography works

Film mammography uses x-ray to record images on film using an x-ray cassette. Films are developed and produced and read by a radiologist. With digital mammography, the x-rays produce a digital image on a computer screen while the patient is still in position. The technologist then has the ability to review these immediately to determine image quality.

 With a digital mammogram, the breast image can be read and stored electronically in digital format, and may also converted from a digital image to film for reading and storage. In either case, the images can be compared from exam to exam and from digital to film.

 For more information on breast health services offered through the Cuyuna Riverwood Breast Health Alliance, visit www.breasthealthalliance.org

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