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Closing the loop: Medical physics feedback in mammography. Claire E. Mercer . The Nightingale Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester. Aim

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closing the loop medical physics feedback in mammography
Closing the loop:Medical physics feedback in mammography

Claire E. Mercer. The Nightingale Centre, University Hospital of South Manchester


To develop a robust structured feedback system from a mammography service to the medical physics service to enable effective and efficient service delivery – to close the loop:

  • Background
  • A fundamental part of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) is Quality Assurance (QA)1,2.
  • Medical physics have been an indispensable part of the QA system since the implementation of the breast screening programme.
  • Commissioning, routine testing and visits following equipment maintenance, if required, are an integral part of this service1,2.
  • Following any visit a report is produced and it is the radiation protection supervisor (RPS) and managers responsibility to ensure that any recommendations that are made on these reports are actioned and feedback is sent back to medical physics1,2
  • Outcome/Content
  • A simple and effective feedback system that supported effective feedback and action on a simple colour rated system was developed.
  • The developed system was reviewed and more structure incorporated.
  • The system enables a clear individual log for each mammography, ultrasound, specimen cabinet and PACS monitor in the department.
  • Historical content for systems are stored.
  • Example of part of the spreadsheet:


Being responsible for managing a screening service goes hand in hand with inherent systematic QA processes; one of which is ensuring that the equipment that is in the service is effectively monitored to high standards to ensure effective image quality.

This tool provides a simple and effective way of providing that mechanism and closing the feedback loop.

Relevance/ Impact

This tool has been rolled out across the local NHSBSP region with the aim to produce an effective feedback mechanism at all sites.

  • References:
  • 1. NHSBSP 63. Quality Assurance Guidelines for Mammography. April 2006; 42. ISBN 1 84463 028 5.
  • 2. Report No. 89 (Revision of IPEM Report 59). The commissioning and routine testing of mammographic x-ray systems. Institute of physics and engineering in medicine (IPEM), 2005.