Radiation Dose & Safety
As part of its ongoing commitment to ensuring safe, appropriate and effective medical imaging and radiation therapy, MITA supports the following principles to reduce exposure to unnecessary radiation:
- Expanding and integrating appropriateness criteria into physician decision-making;
- Creating a national dosage registry to ensure longitudinal tracking of dose levels for patients across America;
- Adopting a standardized method of storing of diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy information within electronic health records;
- Exploring the expansion of mandatory accreditation for advanced imaging facilities;
- Working with professional societies to establish minimum standards for training and education for hospital and imaging facility personnel who perform medical imaging exams and deliver radiation therapy treatments;
- Developing enhanced operational safety procedures and checklists to reduce medical errors; and
- Expanding and standardizing the reporting of medical errors associated with medical radiation across stakeholders in a manner that is transparent for patients, families and physicians.
Commitment to Dose Reduction
MITA and its industry partners are dedicated to enhancing patient safety by reducing radiation dose while maintaining, and even improving, image quality. MITA joins the imaging community in championing the ALARA principle, which stands for “as low as reasonably achievable.” This principle of radiation dose management and optimization is incorporated into all imaging procedures and technologies, and is mandated by nearly all regulatory bodies and licensing agencies, including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Imaging Industry Commitment to Dose Reduction
MITA member companies collaborate with radiologists, medical physicists, technologists and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop and implement radiation dose standards and patient safety features on medical devices.
MITA’s Dose Optimization Efforts
The November 2012 issue of NEMA’s electroindustry magazine featured an article on recent efforts by MITA and its industry partners to reduce radiation dose.
MITA Statement on New Innovations to Minimize Radiation Exposure
In June 2012, MITA announced several new industry-led safety innovations aimed at further reducing unnecessary radiation exposure.
Safety Standards and Initiatives
To better ensure patient safety and optimize device performance, MITA works with imaging equipment manufacturers to help lead the development of industry and international standards for imaging systems and provide expert recommendations on quality and safety checks. MITA’s computed tomography (CT) and radiation therapy (RT) members have each taken the lead on separate industry-wide initiatives to develop and implement additional patient protection features for CT and RT equipment.
MITA Statement on Interventional X-Ray Standard
In November 2012, MITA published the interventional X-ray standard XR-27 User QC Standard, which helps imaging facilities conduct quality testing and monitoring of X-ray equipment used for interventional procedures.
MITA Statement on CT Access Control Standard
In October 2012, MITA joined The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging and Image Wisely in applauding the publication of NEMA’s XR 26 Access Controls for Computer Tomography: Identification, Interlocks, and Logs. The access control standard enhances patient safety by requiring software features that ensure only authorized operators can alter the controls of CT equipment.
MITA Statement on Radiation Therapy Readiness Check Initiative
In June 2010, MITA and the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) announced the Radiation Therapy Readiness Check Initiative, an effort to develop and implement additional patient protection features for radiation therapy equipment.
MITA Statement on CT Dose Check Initiative
In February 2010, MITA announced a radiation dose check feature installed on CT equipment that provides an alert to CT machine operators when recommended radiation dose levels are exceeded.
The Joint Commission’s updated diagnostic imaging requirements for hospital and ambulatory care programs went into effect July 1, 2015, with the goal of improving patient care and safety. This MITA FAQ is intended to help sites and medical physicists achieve this goal by providing clarification around the new requirements in the areas of CT image equipment testing and maintenance and CT radiation dose management.
MITA and its members continue to work closely with industry partners, physicians, medical physicists, nurses and technologists to improve patient safety and care.
MITA partnered with the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging to establish the “Image Gently” campaign to educate medical professionals and parents about imaging protocols that can reduce imaging-related dose for children.
MITA also supports the “Image Wisely” campaign, which focuses on reducing unnecessary exposure for adults.
Summit on Management of CT Radiation Dose
MITA encouraged continued stakeholder collaboration to minimize radiation exposure at the National Institutes of Health’s 2011 “Summit on Management of Radiation Dose in Computerized Tomography (CT): Toward the Sub-mSv Exam.”
MITA maintains an ongoing partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop and implement new radiation safety features and user information.
MITA Statement on FDA’s Pediatric Dose Award
The FDA awarded MITA its “Leveraging/Collaboration Award” in 2012 for developing a collaborative network aimed at reducing unnecessary pediatric radiation exposure.