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CT dose optimization and its global impact on stakeholders

September 21, 2016
From the September 2016 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Administrative enhancements
Facilities pursuing an effective CT dose optimization program have found, or are finding, that numerous administrative actions and programmatic enhancements are needed for success. Among the myriad action items, facilities assign various individual responsibilities relative to dose optimization (including who will be responsible for patient dose analysis and reporting); establish a standing CT dose optimization committee to review and approve protocols (and establish a meeting schedule); arrange IT resources for any dose tracking and analysis software support; update HR policies and procedures to reflect additional staff training and documentation responsibilities; develop and implement mechanisms for external benchmarking of patient doses; and decide upon and institutionalize appropriate methods and frequencies of communicating dose improvements to internal and external stakeholders.

This is only a very small sample of the full gamut of administrative enhancements and changes that facilities have been, or will be, making as CT dose optimization programs are initiated and evolve. A full treatment of the administrative changes involved in CT dose optimization programs is beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say that administrative actions are a critical part of the overall success of these programs.

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Staff training
There are a variety of staff training opportunities that occur as part of CT dose optimization efforts. Dose reduction training for technologists and radiologists is a particularly important and necessary part of any successful CT dose optimization effort. Facilities have begun finding sources for this training, and instituting the requirements and tracking processes to ensure that it is accomplished. Radiology administrators are also seeking higher-level dose program-related training at industry meetings, through their existing facility vendors or individually online. The medical physics community has significantly expanded its own internal training resources (and increasingly, its expectations for competence) in the area of CT dose optimization over the past decade. Training in this area is still evolving rapidly and there is substantial variance from facility to facility, and even from individual to individual within a facility, in CT dose-related technical topics.

More quality content for technologists and radiologists in this area is emerging every year, and some consulting medical physics firms (including my own) now offer robust CT dose optimization training along with their other CT dose optimization services.

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