Many Hospitalists Don't Order Inpatient Mammography

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Most hospitalists feel that they should not be involved in breast cancer screening
Most hospitalists feel that they should not be involved in breast cancer screening

Most hospitalists feel that they should not be involved in breast cancer screening, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Waseem Khaliq, M.D., M.P.H., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues explored hospitalists' views about the appropriateness of inpatient breast cancer screening in a cross-sectional study conducted among four hospitalist groups.

The authors examined the hospitalist characteristics that were associated with being supportive of inpatient mammography.

Of the 106 study subjects, 92 percent responded. The researchers found that more than half of respondents (62 percent) felt that hospitalists should not be involved with breast cancer screening.

Only one-third of hospitalists said that they would order a screening mammogram in a clinical scenario describing hospitalized women who were overdue for screening.

RELATED: Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis, False Positives Linked with High Cost

The most common concern related to ordering the test was lack of follow-up on screening mammography results.

"Given the current policy emphasis on reducing disparities in cancer screening, it may be reasonable to expand the role of all health care providers and health care facilities in screening high-risk populations," the authors write. "Future studies are needed to evaluate the feasibility and potential barriers to inpatient screening mammography."


  1. Khaliq, Waseem, MD, MPH, et al. "What do hospitalists think about inpatient mammography for hospitalized women who are overdue for their breast cancer screening?." Journal of Hospital Medicine. DOI: 10.1002/jhm.2322. January 28, 2015.

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