News | February 28, 2011

ACR Presents Strategies to Reduce Radiation Dose, Unnecessary Imaging

February 28, 2011 – At the National Institutes of Health (NIH) summit on managing radiation dose in computerized tomography, representatives from the American College of Radiology (ACR) outlined strategies for transforming computed tomography (CT) technology and minimizing radiation exposure.

"As the stewards of medical radiation technology and safety for the past 100 years, radiologists take seriously the responsibility to provide leadership in creating policies to help ensure that patients receive only necessary care; and when imaging is appropriate, that those we care for receive the right exam for the right indication at the right time," said John A. Patti, M.D., FACR, chair of the ACR board of chancellors. "The government, manufacturers and imaging providers need to work together to arrive at quality-based imaging utilization and safety policies to ensure that patients get safe, quality care."

Imaging exams and scans are directly linked to longer life expectancy and declining death rates. The responsible use of radiation is essential to continuing these patient benefits.

"ACR accreditation decreases duplicate scans and unnecessary radiation exposure by requiring basic physician training standards for imaging providers, regular surveys of scanners by a medical physicist and certification of radiologic technologists. Image quality requirements must be part of accreditation requirements if we are to take serious steps to raise and maintain quality and safety in medical imaging," said James A. Brink, M.D., chair, ACR Body Imaging Commission. Brink presented on the role of the ACR accreditation program in reducing overall dose and improving quality.

As the medical professionals with extensive training and unique expertise in the effects of radiation, radiologists and medical physicists have long worked to minimize dose from individual scans, avoid unnecessary exams and help other providers do so.

The ACR CT Dose Index Registry allows facilities to submit anonymous patient dose information for each CT exam and compare their doses against national benchmarks. It can then alert them when thresholds are exceeded. This provides ongoing feedback that can help providers ensure, over the long term, that their patients receive optimal radiation dose.

Computerized decision support software, based on ACR appropriateness criteria, helps doctors prescribe the most appropriate scan for the patient's condition and reduce unnecessary exams. These systems can educate providers and help ensure proper imaging without taking important decisions out of the doctor's hands.

"Accreditation, decision support systems and the CT dose registry programs can reduce adverse events, unwarranted radiation exposure and unnecessary cost if Congress would vote to require all imaging providers — including hospitals — to participate in them," said Patti. "Now, when imaging providers and government agencies are coming together to arrive at better imaging policy is the time for Congress to act to require participation in these programs and help ensure quality and safety of medical imaging care."

The ACR is also working with other medical societies to help raise and maintain quality while ensuring that patients only receive safe, necessary care. The Image Gently campaign seeks to raise awareness of opportunities to lower the radiation dose used in the imaging of children.

"Children are more sensitive to radiation received from imaging scans than adults. It is vitally important that we 'kid-size' the dose when performing CT exams on children. There is always more that can be done, but the Image Gently program is a promising example of imaging stakeholders working together to help ensure that those we care for receive safe, appropriate care," said Donald P. Frush, M.D., chair, ACR Pediatric Imaging Commission, member of Image Gently Steering Committee, who presented at the NIH summit on the importance of education, awareness and advocacy for CT quality and safety in imaging of children.

Similarly, the Image Wisely initiative aims to ensure that medical imaging protocols for adults keep pace with advancing technology. The goal is to help referring physicians and medical imaging professionals understand which exams may be most appropriate and how these exams may be carried out in a safe, effective manner.

"The ACR continues to work on a number of fronts to improve and maintain the quality of care that our patients receive,” Patti said. “We look forward to working with Congress, government agencies, and other imaging stakeholders to arrive at sound, quality based, imaging policy to benefit our patients and the American healthcare system overall."

For more information: www.acr.org

Related Content

Researchers Awarded 2018 Canon Medical Systems USA/RSNA Research Grants
News | Radiology Imaging | November 13, 2018
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research & Education (R&E) Foundation recently announced the...
The Fujifilm FCT Embrace CT System displayed for the first time at ASTRO 2018.
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
Fujifilm's first FDA-cleared compu...
MaxQ AI Receives FDA Clearance for Accipio Ix Intracranial Hemorrhage Platform
Technology | Artificial Intelligence | November 07, 2018
MaxQ AI announced that its Accipio Ix intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) detection software has received 510(k) clearance...
GE Healthcare Discovery RF Gen 2 system displayed at ASTRO 2018. It is a dedicated computed tomography (CT) scanner for radiation oncology
360 Photos | 360 View Photos | November 07, 2018
This is the GE Healthcare Discovery RF Gen 2 system displayed at the ...
Results of the vertebrae-based analysis (383 vertebrae in 34 patients) for detection of BME.

Results of the vertebrae-based analysis (383 vertebrae in 34 patients) for detection of BME.

Sponsored Content | Case Study | Computed Tomography (CT) | November 06, 2018
The following is a summary of a study published in the
The NeuViz 16 Essence from Neusoft Medical Systems.

The NeuViz 16 Essence from Neusoft Medical Systems.

Feature | Computed Tomography (CT) | November 05, 2018 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane
According to an industry mark...
Carestream Spotlights Healthcare IT and Imaging Systems at RSNA 2018
News | Information Technology | October 31, 2018
Carestream announced it will be displaying several imaging and healthcare information technology (IT) offerings at the...
IMRIS, Siemens Strengthen Collaboration in Hybrid OR Neurosurgical Market
News | Hybrid OR | October 24, 2018
IMRIS, Deerfield Imaging, in partnership with Siemens Healthineers, announced a strengthened collaboration to advance...
Fujifilm Unveils FCT Embrace CT System for Oncology
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT) | October 23, 2018
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently introduced the FCT Embrace computed tomography (CT) system. Powered by...
The Aquilion Precision CT system from Canon offers very high resolution imaging, which may aid in cancer detection and improved treatment planning in radiation oncology. #ASTRO2018 #ASTRO #ASTRO18

The Aquilion Precision CT system from Canon offers very high resolution imaging, which may aid in cancer detection and improved treatment planning in radiation oncology. 

News | Computed Tomography (CT) | October 19, 2018
October 19, 2018 – At the 2018 American Society of...