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CT dose reduction program enhances patient safety

An article published in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology highlights Beaumont's success in reducing patients' CT radiation dose.

Through a comprehensive, hospital-wide dose reduction program, Beaumont has reduced unnecessary CT studies, adjusted scanning parameters to lower dose, reduced organ-specific radiation dose and ensured proper implementation of procedures and new protocols via a quality control effort.

"Beaumont formed a committee in 2010 to address CT radiation dose reduction," says Duane Mezwa, M.D., corporate chairman of Diagnostic Radiology. "The committee focused on avoiding unnecessary CT exams, limiting studies to the anatomy of interest in order to decrease scanning length, reviewing every inpatient CT order and developing new CT protocols."

To limit unnecessary CT exams, the committee used a CT log book to track the number of repeat CT studies. Referring physicians and CT technologists were then informed of the repeat order using Beaumont's oneChart (Epic) electronic health record system.

"Because CT is not always the most suitable imaging modality to answer a clinical question, this system allows attending physicians and resident and fellow radiologists to function as consultants, offering alternative modalities that do not involve radiation or offering limited CT examinations when possible," says Dr. Mezwa.