Published on the Feb. 6, 2012, DiagnosticImaging.com website
By Whitney L.J. Howell
Starting July 1, diagnostic radiologists in California will be required to include radiation dose levels in all CT reports. Industry response has been mainly positive, but there are still concerns about how the legislation will be enacted and the effect it will have on daily practice.
The current legislation requires radiologists to report all CT dose levels, including accidental overdoses, and mandates that medical physicists conduct an annual assessment of the dosage units in every protocol. These measures are in response to two significant overdose events at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center and Mad River Community Hospital in Aracata, Calif.
“What happened was a bad situation, so with that backdrop the response with this reporting legislation was reasonable,” said Bob Achermann, California Radiological Society (CRS) executive director. “It’s an effort to ensure radiology is doing its job correctly and that the industry is providing transparency.”
Radiology leaders anticipate the dose reporting will lead to future data mining opportunities about radiation exposure, public health effects, and long-term radiation responses.
Under the law, medical physicists have 10 days to calculate and report the dose levels to the California Department of Public Health. CRS, however, supports legislation to amend the bill’s language, making it less burdensome on radiologists. For example, Achermann said, CRS wants to limit the number of reportable procedures to the four targeted by the American College of Radiology (ACR): adult abdominal and brain, as well as pediatric abdominal and brain. The organization also wants to exclude dose reporting for any ancillary radiation experienced by organs adjacent to the target and clarify language that calls for radiologists to dictate the dose level into the patient record.
To read the remainder of the article: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/low-dose/content/article/113619/2027591