Improving ACRs: Minimum reading volumes

icon minimum reading volumesThe “minimum reading volume” is the lowest number of breast cancer screens a radiologist must read each year to stay accredited. The more screens radiologists read, the more experience and expertise they gain, which improves screening performance.

What minimum reading volumes look like in practice

Minimum reading volumes vary around the world. Most countries require minimum reading volumes of 2,000 to 5,000. Studies show a minimum reading value of 3,000 has the biggest impact on screening accuracy. In Canada, most provinces use the Canadian Association of Radiologists benchmark of at least 1,000 reads per year (it used to be 480). British Columbia requires a minimum of 2,500 reads per year.

How to put this approach into action

Breast cancer screening programs looking to implement this approach should:

  • Target minimum reading volumes of 2,000 reads per year.

What is needed to succeed

  • Minimum reading volumes increase to 3,000 reads per year
  • Combination with feedback on cancer outcomes
  • Support for radiologists with low-volume practices

Challenges to overcome

  • Difficulty for radiologists in rural settings to achieve minimum reading values

More approaches on improving abnormal call rates in breast cancer screening with mammography

Learn more about peer review and mentorship, education, standardized report cards, batch reading and double reading.