With accreditation bodies, regulatory bodies, members of the public, facility staff and others worried more and more every day about radiation doses from medical imaging procedures, it is essential that your hospital, imaging center or private practice look at this issue seriously and ensure that it is reducing doses as much as possible. But how do you know if the radiation dose from your CT, fluoroscopy or radiography protocols is as low as possible while still providing excellent diagnostic images? How do members of the public know that they are protected properly and that they can trust your site with themselves or their children? What can you do to ensure that you meet the latest guidelines, regulations and standards?
Optimizing radiation dose is a complex process. To do it properly requires training of technologists, image quality consultation with radiologists, investigation of new hardware and software options and equipment, review and improvement of policies and procedures, and a host of other steps. Plus, how do you properly measure your progress, compare it to industry standards, and articulate your success to your clients, referring physicians and accreditation bodies?
While the process is complex, the answer is simple. Hire a radiation expert to set you on the right course and keep you there. Our diagnostic medical physicists are trained to evaluate the starting dose situation at a facility, draw up a multi-element plan to improve it, and then properly verify and communicate the end result. It is not enough to involve the OEM, technologist and radiologist. You need a professional who is trained in radiation dosimetry, intimately familiar with all of the relevant standards (Joint Commission, ACR, IAC, State, Federal, Image Gently, Image Wisely, California SB 1237, etc.), and can ensure that your investment in time and money to address this important issue is spent wisely. To reduce dose, you have to consider numerous questions: Should you upgrade your scanners with new dose reduction features? Would it be better to invest in dose monitoring software? Are all of your protocols optimized and if not, how exactly do you ensure that they are? Are all your staff trained in dose optimization?
West Physics leads the medical physics industry in providing turn-key CT, fluoroscopy and radiography Dose Reduction Programs to facilities that measure doses, lower doses, help you make optimal decisions about new equipment or software, train staff, and provide information to your patients and staff about what has been done to keep them safe. In many cases, expensive scanner upgrades are NOT what is needed to reduce your doses – what is needed is proper patient dose tracking and analysis, protocol optimization and staff training. Let us help you put all the pieces together.
Our Dose Reduction Programs include the following elements:
- Dose and Image Quality Testing
- Protocol Optimization
- Dose Action Level Setup
- Dose-related Policies and Procedures (P&P) Review and Feedback
- Participation in JC- and State-required Protocol Review Committees
- Technologist and Radiologist Dose Awareness and Reduction Training
- Dose Strategy Consultation
- Dose Reduction Certificate
- Patient Dose Reduction Brochure
- Staff Q&A Session and Training Checkups
- Annual Dose and Image Quality Retesting
- Annual Dose Reduction Review
- Ongoing Protocol Refinement and Dose Action Level Checkups
- Ongoing consultation
Special Note: As part of our dose reduction programs, we are also pleased to provide expert setup, maintenance and oversight of customer dose tracking software packages. Our staff is experienced at working with Bayer Radimetrics, GE DoseWatch, PACSHealth DoseMonitor, and many more! Let a radiation safety professional help you manage your dose tracking and reduction program optimally, and in full compliance with the latest Joint Commission and ACR guidelines.
All of these elements add up to a simple, turn-key comprehensive Dose Reduction Program that will put your facility on solid footing with respect to dose reduction and ensure that you are taking the right steps to lower doses.
Please contact us today for more information about the individual elements of this service and for a no-obligation quote!