In 2009, new mammography screening guidelines recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) created disagreement and confusion among many clinicians and patients. The recommendations, based on the risks versus benefits of a patient’s exposure to mammography, included not recommending mammography for women under age 40 who were at normal risk for breast cancer, and changing mammography frequency to every other year for women over 50.

In the NorthShore PBRN study, during the period reviewed, the age group most affected by the change in screening recommendations (p-value = 0.002) included women ages 50-59. No other age group showed differences in screening rates.


The purpose of the project was to determine the impact of the USPSTF recommendations regarding screening mammography in the NorthShore Medical Group.

This information could help physicians know whether to discuss screening frequency with certain patients who may be confused about or are having insufficient screenings based on each patient’s medical history.


A total of 19,804 patient cases were analyzed through the use of the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW).

Project Leader

Martha Johnson, M.D., Family Medicine/University of Chicago
Kate Rowland, M.D., Family Medicine/University of Chicago
Ari Robicsek, M.D., Informatics and PBRN Leadership Team
Bernard Ewigman, M.D., Family Medicine and PBRN Leadership Team

Project Duration

This project began in November 2010 and is still ongoing.