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ECRI Institute Service to Address CT Radiation Dose Safety
Date:11/8/2010

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Keeping radiation dose in check is a top safety concern for today's hospitals, particularly in computed tomography (CT), which has undergone some significant technological advances in the last ten years. The down side is that CT delivers some of the highest radiation doses in diagnostic radiology.

Failing to implement measures for delivering the appropriate radiation dose can result in unnecessarily high exposures, placing patients at increased risk of cancer and other injuries. A recent New York Times article (July 31, 2010) addresses some of these rare but serious incidents.

So, how can hospitals take action now to ensure they are not exposing patients to dangerous levels of radiation?

Answering this question is complicated, and can even be counterintuitive, according to ECRI Institute (www.ecri.org), an independent, nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to patient care. While a high level of radiation puts patients at risk, too little could affect image quality—possibly resulting in misdiagnosis or the need for patients to be rescanned and exposed to even more radiation.

To help healthcare facilities ensure their CT radiation dosages are at a safe level, ECRI Institute has introduced a CT Radiation Dose Safety Review service.

ECRI Institute's multidisciplinary experts, including medical physicists who specialize in diagnostic imaging, conduct a thorough assessment of a hospital's CT service, including current policy and procedures, staff, and technologies. Then, they identify vulnerabilities in safety and quality, and help implement changes to minimize the likelihood of patient harm from excessive radiation dosage.

"We're identifying safety concerns with a hospital's current CT service, then w
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SOURCE ECRI Institute
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