Kevin Little, Ph.D., assistant professor and medical physicist, Department of Radiology, at The Ohio State University, explains how hospitals can better manage their computed tomography (CT) imaging protocols across their fleet of CT scanners from various vendors. He moderated a session on this topic at the 2019 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) meeting.
He stressed the importance of CT protocol management to an imaging practice and showed examples of tools that can be used to develop consistent protocols across multiple systems. Little said it is important to develop awareness of the Management of Acquisition Profiles (MAP) IHE profile and features that should be requested from CT scanner vendors.
CT protocols, which include all clinical and technical parameters for a given study, are the starting point for achieving high-quality images with reasonable radiation and contrast doses. An imaging practice that desires to follow the "as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) principle and produce high-quality images should have standardized protocols across their enterprise. Accreditation standards require a periodic review of all scanner protocols. However, variations among vendors, models, and clinical indications mean that managing and optimizing dozens of parameters for each protocol on every scanner in a health system is challenging. Even when variations between systems are limited, managing protocol names and parameters across multiple systems can be difficult. The purpose of this symposium is to identify tools and techniques that may be used to manage protocols across multiple systems and to provide a framework for protocol optimization.