SIIM: Top 10 strategies for CT dose reduction

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ORLANDO, Fla.—Perspective is critical in the radiation exposure discussion. Aaron D. Sodickson, MD, PhD, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, shared the bucket analogy during a June 9 session at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM). “[Cancer] risk from radiation exposure is a drop in the bucket. But we need to know how full the bucket is, how quickly we are adding to it and the size of drops.”

Better data are needed to validate risk, said Sodickson. As those data are gathered, he suggested that practices employ a multi-faceted program to reduce CT dose.

The top 10 strategies are: 

  1. Design imaging algorithms.
  2. Implement evidence-based imaging.
  3. Employ decision support, including appropriateness criteria and radiation risk assessments.
  4. Consider non-ionizing radiation alternatives when appropriate.
  5. Import CDs in the emergency department.
  6. Alert clinicians to prior duplicate exams.
  7. Use dose-optimized protocols.
  8. Use the lowest radiation exposure for the clinical scenario.
  9. Capture patient-exam specific exposure and convert it to patient dose.
  10. Plan for longitudinal dose data and risk monitoring in the EMR.