We know that radiation from medical imaging can increase the risk of cancer. We still have questions – How much is too much? How does cumulative radiation exposure affect the risk of cancer? Not only does our program provide a tool that quickly counts radiology studies and estimates radiation exposure, but it also raises awareness of radiation exposure for our patients and the medical community.
Radiation Reconciliation℠ is a program that can stand alone or be integrated into Align. When integrated into Align, it searches every patient’s medical history and reports an alert if their estimated radiation exposure is above a set threshold. With the click of a button, it generates a report based on the number and type of imaging studies on record at your facility. This information is presented in a graphical way to help patients understand their medical radiation exposure with some meaningful points of reference. Physicians and patients can then more easily, and with greater understanding, discuss the risks, benefits and alternatives to any proposed imaging studies.
Our program provides data, on demand, at the click of a button and can be deployed in multiple settings across the healthcare system, from the Emergency Department to the outpatient radiology setting. A printed report can be given to the patient to take to their primary physician or this document may be requested by their physician to keep on record. This program provides an incentive for a patient to have all of their medical imaging studies performed at your institution. It is a strong marketing tool promoting your facility’s emphasis on patient safety, quality and efficiency.
Setting tomorrow’s standard of care today
The Danger is Real….. On June 7, 2012, The Lancet published a large-scale retrospective study on radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and the subsequent risk of leukemia and brain tumors. They found that CT scans in children delivering 50 mSv of radiation might triple the risk of leukemia and doses delivering about 60 mSv might triple the risk of brain cancer. In Report No. 160 published in 2009, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) announced that in 2006, Americans were exposed to more than seven times as much ionizing radiation from medical procedures than in the early 1980s. According to Dr. Kenneth R. Kase, senior vice president of NCRP. “The increase was due mostly to the higher utilization of computed tomography (CT) and nuclear medicine. These two imaging modalities alone contributed 36 percent of the total radiation exposure.” A study by Columbia University published in 2007 estimated that in a few decades, as many as 2% of all cancers in the US might be due to CT scans alone. (Computed Tomography — An Increasing Source of Radiation Exposure David J. Brenner, Ph.D., D.Sc., and Eric J. Hall, D.Phil., D.Sc., N Engl J Med 2007; 357:2277-2284) The Time is Now….. The US Food and Drug Administration is pushing for industry standards and improvements in recording of radiation doses given. “We are considering requirements and guidelines for record-keeping of dose and other technical parameters of the imaging exam.” Says Sean Boyd, chief of the FDA’s diagnostic devices branch. A near-term goal is developing a “radiation medical record” to track dose from cradle to grave. The FDA is working with Image Wisely to develop a Patient Medical Imaging Record card to track the date, type and location of imaging studies. The goal is to reduce the number of imaging studies performed due to the lack of knowledge about previous studies. “One of the ways we could improve care is if we had a running sort of Geiger counter” that a doctor checked before ordering a test, says Dr. Prashant Kaul of Duke University. Doing Our Part….. Radiation Reconciliation℠ is setting tomorrow’s standard of care. By bringing knowledge to the the ordering physician and the patient at the click of a button, it efficiently raises awareness of a patient’s medical radiation exposure. This tool should reduce unnecessary medical radiation and create a culture that promotes responsible imaging.