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Tips on Handling CT Dose Index Ranges to Comply With The Joint Commission Accreditation Requirements

Olav Christianson

One of the most difficult parts in meeting the Diagnostic CT Imaging Standards for The Joint Commission (TJC) accreditation is determining expected dose index ranges for the patient’s CT examination. Your ability to understand the different methods of determining those ranges will take you a long way in meeting standard compliance.

See this for CT dose compliance details:

As you think about CT dose index ranges, remember that all dose tracking software can be used to meet TJC compliance standards and support TJC accreditation. 

Whether you are using a dose tracking system (DTS) or not, each of these methods listed below can help you comply with those accreditation requirements:

  • Dose Metric. The dose metric your facility uses for getting at the ranges for CT exams can be drawn from several sources: computed tomography dose index (CTDI), size-specific dose index (SSDI) or dose length product (DLP). Each has different characteristics and all will help you comply, but you should always include the total DLP or irradiation events in your expected dose index ranges. 
  • Dose check. This alerts CT operators when there’s a likelihood of exceeding established thresholds and it’s a common feature on CT scanners. These events are recorded in a log that you can print out and show to the TJC surveyor(s), and will demonstrate your compliance. <>Values set-up. One of the easiest approaches to setting up and presenting your values is to use is the ACR Dose Index Registry (DIR). The DIR enables a national benchmark comparison. You can print out your values per protocol on an Excel spreadsheet for the surveyors. 
  • Values set up. One of the easiest approaches to setting up and presenting your values is to use the ACR Dose Index Registry (DIR). The DIR enables a national benchmark comparision. You can print out your values per protocol on an Excel spreadsheet for TJC surveyors. 

Regardless of the methods you use for handling CT dose index ranges, always keep your focus on improving patient care.