Protocols are the key to dose reduction best practices, and providers reported that they are working with radiologists, physicists and technologists to rework protocols for procedure type and specifying protocols for patient height and weight, according to this year’s KLAS CT report, “CT 2011: Focused on Dose.”
While providers are handling much of the dose reduction work themselves, vendor involvement also plays a role, according to KLAS.
"Thirty-eight percent of providers in this study feel that Siemens is the low-dose leader, followed closely by GE at 32 percent,” said Kirk Ising, report author and research director for the Orem, Utah-based market researcher. “On the other hand, Toshiba and Philips trail the top two vendors, both with only 15 percent of the provider votes. Siemens' commitment to research and development and technology help Siemens stand out as the leader in the low dose perception."
In a shake-up from last year, GE and Siemens slipped past Toshiba to take the top spots in a few categories. GE’s LightSpeed 64 surpassed Toshiba Aquilion 64’s longstanding number one rating in the 64-slice CT market. The Siemens Definition Flash squeaked past the Toshiba Aquilion One for the top rating in the next-generation group.
"Though Toshiba is not first this year, they ranked second by very slim margins. They have been known for service and support and set the bar for the other vendors in that area. Over the last couple of years they have slipped a bit from their high bar in account management and proactive service," said Ising.
Philips and Hitachi made an impact on the market with new product offerings. Philips, which has suffered from some problems with the Brilliance line, has introduced the Ingenuity and the buzz around that new CT is gaining momentum, according to KLAS. Hitachi, typically known for its service and support in the MR realm, recently received FDA clearance for the Scenaria, its first 64-slice CT offering in the U.S. market.