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

Revised guidelines for lung cancer screening eligibility are perpetuating disparities for racial/ethnic minorities, according to a new study in Radiology.

Getty Images

News | Lung Imaging | September 15, 2021
September 15, 2021 — Revised guidelines for...
To get more flexibility and cost savings from storage, healthcare organizations are increasing their investments in the cloud
Feature | Information Technology | September 15, 2021 | By Kumar Goswami
Healthcare organizations today are storing petabytes of medical imaging data — lab slides,...
Figure 1: MWT Schematic of a typical setup for detecting malignant tissues/tumors.

Figure 1: MWT Schematic of a typical setup for detecting malignant tissues/tumors.

Feature | Radiology Imaging | September 14, 2021 | By Brendon McHugh
Plan to attend RSNA21 at McCormick Place Chicago, Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 2021

Getty Images

News | RSNA | September 13, 2021
September 13, 2021 — The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) today announced highlights of the Technical Exh
An artificial intelligence (AI) program can spot signs of lung cancer on computed tomography (CT) scans a year before they can be diagnosed with existing methods, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Diagram showing details of the lung screening experiment. Image courtesy of the European Respiratory Society/Benoit Audelan

News | Artificial Intelligence | September 08, 2021
September 8, 2021 — An artificial intell...
62-Year-Old Woman Who Underwent Hysterectomy for Uterine Cancer: Sagittal chest CT images demonstrate measurement of right (A) and left (B) lung length at hilar level from apex to diaphragmatic dome. Right lung length was 20.1 cm for reader 1 and 20.0 cm for reader 2; left lung length was 21.7 cm for reader 1 and 21.3 cm for reader 2. Patient did not require postoperative mechanical ventilation.

62-Year-Old Woman Who Underwent Hysterectomy for Uterine Cancer: Sagittal chest CT images demonstrate measurement of right (A) and left (B) lung length at hilar level from apex to diaphragmatic dome. Right lung length was 20.1 cm for reader 1 and 20.0 cm for reader 2; left lung length was 21.7 cm for reader 1 and 21.3 cm for reader 2. Patient did not require postoperative mechanical ventilation.

News | Computed Tomography (CT) | September 07, 2021
As the world’s first FDA-cleared bedside MRI system, Hyperfine’s portable Swoop system is designed to allow physicians to rapidly understand the current state of injury to make life-saving decisions.

As the world’s first FDA-cleared bedside MRI system, Hyperfine’s portable Swoop system is designed to allow physicians to rapidly understand the current state of injury to make life-saving decisions. Within minutes, the technology can acquire critical images via a wireless tablet, powered by a standard wall outlet at the patient’s bedside. (Photo: Business Wire)

News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | September 01, 2021
September 1, 2021 — ...