New Protocols Aim to Reduce Radiation Exposure

Reducing Radiation

Now the healthcare organization has taken steps to minimize radiation exposure for patient safety.

Keith White, MD, medical director of Imaging Services at Intermountain has detailed the process and the successes in Becker’s Hospital Review August edition. White wrote in the article that the results also showed benefits in lower cancer risk with the testing protocol changes.

“We're excited that the combined impact of this plan will likely lead to a healthier population generations from now, as they are expected to reduce lifetime cancer cases by 64 and decrease the lifetime cancer deaths by 32 per year,” White wrote in the article.

Radiation exposure happens through various medical tests. X-rays uses very low amounts of radiation where CT scans for example use a higher dosage. The amount of radiation used helps determine the quality of the image produced. White and his team found that by lowering the radiation, without hindering the quality of being able to make a diagnosis, the patient’s radiation risks is reduced.

The results of the study also showcased the need to reduce variability in CT scans. Intermountain imaging teams have developed new protocols for CT scans for the abdomen that are based on size of the patient. New protocols have provided clarity in reducing radiation for children too by limiting the use of CT scans for pediatric patients with appendicitis.

“Reducing radiation is an ongoing endeavor. Intermountain Healthcare is committed to exploring further technical advances, protocol standards and the complete elimination of tests that use radiation when they can be replaced with other assessments. These initiatives are practical examples of how Intermountain is saving lives, reducing harm and fulfilling its mission of helping people live the healthiest lives possible,” White wrote in the article.

Read the entire article in Becker’s Hospital Review.