Radiation dose monitoring software in medical imaging is helpful for patient safety. Here are five ways medical physicists can help imaging departments extract greater value from radiation dose monitoring software, meet radiation dose monitoring regulations, and assist in providing quality patient care:
Optimizing CT radiation dose. As the number of CT exams increases in the U.S., a qualified medical physicist can help provide the expertise needed to analyze dose monitoring data by protocol and by patient weight and age. Knowing the scanner type and its features and how best to adjust protocols against benchmarks are among the skills a qualified medical physicist offers organizations.
Interfacing with the whole team. As part of the patient care team, the medical physicist interacts with radiologists, technicians and ancillary staff. Whether reviewing the specifics of a scanner type with the technician or conferring with the physician, the medical physicist is a key link between dose monitoring software and dose optimization.
“You don’t need radiation dose monitoring software for TJC compliance, but it will make compliance a whole lot easier because all of it meets the TJC standard. You can also use the ACRs DIR registry to meet TJC dose benchmark requirement.”
- Olav Christianson, MS, DABR, LANDAUER senior medical physicist.
Ensuring safe fluoroscopy examinations. Fluoroscopy exams are complex because of higher levels of radiation exposure to patient and staff. Along with providing analysis of radiation dose monitoring data, a qualified medical physicist may proactively address safety issues, for example, by “… training interventional fellows how to manage radiation risks during prolonged fluoroscopy procedures…” RadioGraphics, October 2018 Special Issue.
Supporting compliance. Radiation dose compliance with the new fluoroscopy requirements for The Joint Commission accreditation can be a challenge to medical imaging departments tasked to “do more with less.” A qualified medical physicist can step in to help meet the TJC requirement for physician and staff education on radiation dose management software, analyze incidents where dose thresholds are exceeded, and provide quarterly reviews of staff dosimetry monitoring.
See LANDAUER Academy for radiation safety training that includes dose monitoring software
Integrating “monitoring” with “management.” The next generation in patient radiation dose safety incorporates radiation dose monitoring with a complete dose management system that automates data collection, supports compliance, maps doses to a national protocol database, and generates actionable reports. Here, a qualified medical physicists provides the insights on how to use the system to change protocols and procedures to optimize patient dose.