RCGs service to reduce radiation exposure enjoys good timing

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Dec. 4—RCG HealthCare Consulting of Boston announced the availability of its service to reduce radiation dosage for patients undergoing CT exams at the 93rd scientific assembly and annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago last week.

The service assesses current CT exam practices and protocols, develops a radiation exposure profile, delivers new, optimized CT protocols proven to markedly reduce patient dose, provides training and support for technologists and radiologists, and monitors periodic dosage results to identify further opportunities for refining the overall process.

The firm’s announcement of the service coincided with the news that CT scans could be responsible for as much as 2 percent of all cancers in the United States in the next 20 to 30 years due to radiation exposure, according to a study conducted at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Alan Schweitzer, chief technology officer, said RCG has piloted the radiation exposure service in several sites and is now ready to roll it out with full commercialization.

On average, the radiation exposure service reduces exposure by 60 percent, according to David Charpie, RCG executive director. By reviewing protocols that can reduce exposure without sacrificing quality, facilities can focus on improving quality and increasing patient safety. “The article in the NEJM is good timing. People recognize that we have to do something. It’s valuable to measure radiation exposure and it’s good operations to measure.”

RCG also offers PACS assessment. “We are aware that the PACS market has matured,” said Schweitzer. “Most sites have it but are not getting the full benefit they expected.” PACS problems include obsolescence, enterprise distribution, storage, core infrastructure and integration in general.