How We Lowered Pediatric X-Ray Exam Dose By One Third
Editors Note: We asked Kathy Hood, Director, and Cathy Atkins and Judy Wilson, Managers of Diagnostic Radiology, at AnMed Health in Anderson, S.C. to share an inside look at how they have lowered pediatric dose.
Everything about AnMed Health Kids’ Care is tailored to children—from the alphabet puzzle at the check-in desk to the board-certified pediatricians and the x-ray imaging systems. Our urgent care facility is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. We treat babies, children and adolescents with a variety of conditions—from flu and asthma attacks to sports injuries, cuts and burns.
We see 5,000 patients a month and conduct an average of 2,000 imaging exams a month. Almost all of those exams are performed with CARESTREAM DRX-1 Systems that recently replaced a CR system used with existing analog radiography equipment.
Converting from CR to DR has resulted in a tremendous advantage for our patients, physicians and staff. Because children are more radiosensitive to radiation and doses are cumulative over a lifetime, our primary goal was to reduce exposure dose wherever possible and the implementation of the DRX systems has allowed us to do that. Since implementing wireless, cassette-size DRX-1 technology in the general x-ray rooms, we have lowered exposures by 30-50%. After conducting tests on phantoms, the equipment was calibrated and our staff set up reduced techniques and reprogrammed the x-ray systems.
The ability to capture, view and transmit images directly to our PACS without the extra processing step required with CR has been a big productivity improvement. Wait times for the pediatrician and patients have been reduced and diagnosis and treatment can begin immediately. This is especially important when our patients are very ill or in pain.
The Kids’ Care Center is in the same building as AnMed Health Women’s and Children’s Hospital and many of the pediatricians’ offices. The building houses four general radiology rooms, all equipped with DRX-1 detectors that allow us to offer excellent care for our pediatric patients and keep their parents and families from congested emergency rooms.