Follow-up mammogram or ultrasound

A screening mammogram is an x-ray of the breast to check for possible breast cancer. When a screening mammogram shows signs of possible breast cancer, the patient is asked to come back for a follow-up appointment. A follow-up usually means having more tests (a mammogram, an ultrasound or both).

Some hospitals don't do enough follow up procedures, which could put patients at risk of not having breast cancer or changes diagnosed early enough; while other hospitals do too much follow up, which can be costly and can expose patients to too much unnecessary radiation.  

About This Measure

This measure tracks the number of outpatients who had a follow-up mammogram or ultrasound within 45 days after a screening mammogram. Studies suggest that a number much lower than 8 may mean there is not enough follow-up, while a number much higher than 14 may mean there is too much unnecessary follow-up.

Note: In this case, a number between 8 and 14 is better.

Most Recent Available Data (Percent)
Northwestern Memorial 8
National Average 9
State Average 9
Performance Trend (Percent)
  2008 Q4 2009 2010 2011
Northwestern Memorial 8 9 7 8
National Average 8 8 9 9
State Average 8 8 8 9
Source:U.S. Department of Health & Human Services,
Percent of patients who had a follow up mammogram or ultrasound.