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UCLA Receives Six UC Health Quality Grants to Improve Hospital Care
Date:7/15/2011

hanced, particularly when patients transition from the hospital to a primary care provider. Such quality improvement programs assess patients for readmission risks when they enter the hospital, help patients and caregivers understand these risks, and follow up with both patients and physicians shortly after discharge. Dr. Nasim Afsarmanesh, an assistant clinical professor and director of quality and safety at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and her colleagues from other centers were granted $750,000 to create a quality improvement network that will collaborate to design and implement interventions to improve these important transitions of care.

Standardizing CT scan protocols

A computerized tomography (CT) scan can yield a tremendous amount of diagnostic information, but it is also important to assess the amount of radiation a patient receives from these scans. In order to reduce the total amount of radiation, and to meet the terms of a new California law requiring the reporting of radiation exposure, health practitioners need to set standards that allow for high-quality diagnostic CT scans with a minimum amount of radiation. To create necessary exposure standards, a team including UCLA radiology researchers Dr. Michael McNitt-Gray and Dr. Christopher Cagnon was given a grant of $750,000 to create standard protocols for CT scans of all types which will balance radiation exposure and image quality. The team will also establish educational programs for all UC medical centers to create practice standards that could be used nationwide.

Reducing radiation from unnecessary CT scans

Many hospitals will automatically order a CT scan of any patient admitted with blunt chest injuries. Yet many of these scans, while exposing patients to ionizing radiation, may not provide any benefit. One reason so many patients receive these scans is that information that could help health professionals decide whether such scans are necessary is sc
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SOURCE University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
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