Innovative Technology Makes Dose Reduction Affordable
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Editor’s Note: Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins, Ga. recently installed six CARESTREAM DRX Systems to streamline image delivery. We asked Tim Sisco, Director of Cardiovascular and Imaging Services at Houston Healthcare, to talk about the impact converting from CR to DR systems has had on their dose reduction efforts.
Our diagnostic imaging team at the 237-bed Houston Medical Center and Houston Healthcare outpatient imaging center knew that when we converted our CR systems to digital radiography with Carestream wireless DRX detectors we’d see a dramatic difference in how quickly we can provide access to images—an important asset for critically ill and injured patients.
But we didn’t anticipate the dose reduction would be equally dramatic: 40% for in-room and portable systems.
We converted two portable imaging systems serving ER and ICU patients and three general radiology rooms, along with the installation of a new automated DR suite in Houston Medical Center’s busiest exam room that handles ER patients.
As we implemented the new wireless detectors, our staff immediately recognized the potential for dose reduction. We recalibrated our X-ray systems to create an accurate automatic exposure control (AEC) for procedures that use the bucky. Our technologists have also reduced exposure techniques for tabletop and portable exams.
This dose reduction supports our efforts to comply with the Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert on Radiation Risks of Diagnostic Imaging. Our radiology managers and technologists have been educated on how to discuss dose reduction with patients and when speaking with representatives from state, Joint Commission, FDA or other regulatory agencies involved in patient care.
What have you done to reduce patient dose?