X-rays and CT (computed tomography) scans are useful diagnostic tools that use radiation to view bone and tissue inside the body. However, repeated exposure to radiation during a person’s life (cumulative exposure) can put them at higher risk for cancer.
CT scans are responsible for more than 40% of the cumulative diagnostic radiation exposures to patients. Medicare radiography costs are over $14 billion dollars a year and it is estimated that 20-50% of the scans are unnecessary.
Although there are times when a CT scan is the best tool to diagnose a medical condition, there are ways to minimize the patient’s exposure to radiation.
WSHA supports efforts to optimize radiation exposure in children by providing training, education, tools and patient education materials as well as data. Strategies and measures have been developed in strong partnership with the 100K Children Campaign. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Optimizing DLP (Dose Length Product) – ensuring that DLP is appropriate for patient age/size and protocol within acceptable ranges to optimize safety and enhance clinically viable images. WSHA supports DIR as a platform.
2. Disseminating PECARN – educating ordering providers and peers as to when pediatric head CTs were warranted was noted to have reduced the ordering of CT Head studies by 20% during the study, thus optimizing when exams were ordered. WSHA supports R-SCAN as a platform.
3. Supporting Child-Sized Protocols – adjusting the parameters of an exam to fit the pediatric patient based on age/size categories and target ranges for DLP is expected to optimize safety and clinical image quality… noting that one size does not fit all.
Before using a CT scan, medical staff will be asked to consider alternatives. If they decide a CT scan is necessary, the dose should be adjusted for the size of the patient, including smaller doses for children.
- Webcast: Understanding Medical Radiation Exposure: What We Know and What We Don’t
Reduce Unnecessary Exposure Through Right Order, Right Scan:
Implement protocols, procedures, algorithms, and guidelines to help your staff and clinicians make safer imaging choices for children.
- Webcast: Ultrasound for Appendicitis – Dose Optimization
- Webcast: Pediatric Head Trauma: When to Image
NEMA XR-29 (MITA Smart Dose) Standard
- American College of Radiology (ACR)
- National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA)
- Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA)
- Dose Index Registry (DIR)
The XR-29 Standard specifies four attributes of CT scanners that “contribute to or help perform optimization and or management of doses of ionizing radiation while still enabling the system to deliver the diagnostic image quality needed by the physician.” CT scanners meeting the XR-29 Standard have the following:
Measure Definition Sheets
Previous Measure Definition Sheets