As important as mammograms are, they are only worthwhile if the equipment is properly maintained and the personnel properly trained.

The mammography department of Barnesville Hospital received complete compliance status and renewal of certification by the FDA through its

MQSA (Mammography Quality Standards Act) inspection. The primary objective of the MQSA is to ensure that mammography is safe and reliable and that breast cancer is detected in its most treatable stages.

In 2011, Barnesville Hospital began offering digital mammography services. Digital mammography is shown to be more sensitive in the detection of breast cancer and exposes women to less radiation. Digital mammography also provides improvements in image storage and transmission allowing off site radiologists to read and assess the images in real time. It also increases the number of women who can be screened each day as the actual exam takes less time. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40.

The accreditation sets high practice standards for qualifications of personnel, adequacy of technology & equipment, and the technical quality of the actual mammography images produced. For example, physicians who interpret mammograms must be board certified or have three months training in mammography, technologists must keep their skills current by doing an average of 200 mammograms every two years, and medical physicists must ensure quality of mammography equipment and facilities.

Under the guidance of Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Dr. Carter Kenamond, Imaging Operations Manager, Karen Mihalic, RT R.M., and

Tiffany Hart-Gatten, Mammography Quality Coordinator, a team of six registered mammography technologists perform over 1,000 mammograms annually at Barnesville Hospital.

In addition to setting standards for personnel and equipment, the MQSA requires the facility to retain and transfer mammograms to a patients physician. This is important because it aids diagnosis by allowing doctors to compare old mammograms with new ones.

The Diagnostic Imaging Department at Barnesville Hospital has been providing mammography services to the community for over 18 years, while following standards of both the American College of Radiology and the federal regulations of the Mammography Quality Standards Act which are surveyed by the Ohio Department of Health.

Mammography is only one of the quality services which earned Barnesville Hospital recognition as a HealthStrong Award Winner. In the first comprehensive rating of Critical Access Hospitals, Barnesville Hospital was recognized by iVantage Health Analytics as one of the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the nation. This tremendous honor is based on 56 performance indicators including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability, and efficiency. For more information about Barnesville Hospital and its services, visit the web site at www.barnesvillehospital.com, find us on Facebook at Barnesville Hospital Association, Inc., or call (740) 425-5158.