Healthcare facilities who participate in the Image Wisely program will now need to make an annual pledge to limit excessive imaging and curb unnecessary patient exposure to radiation.
The joint initiative from the American College of Radiology (ACR), Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), American Association of Physicists in Medicine and American Society of Radiologic Technologists previously required participants to make a one-time pledge upon joining the program.
But repeating the pledge annually reaffirms facilities’ commitment to responsible imaging practices, according to Richard Morin, PhD, who serves as co-chair of the program’s executive committee and its representative from the ACR.
“Requiring an annual Image Wisely pledge reinforces the solid commitment to eliminate unnecessary imaging exams and to only use the amount of radiation necessary to produce the image quality needed for the diagnostic imaging task,” Morin said in a press release.
Another modification to the pledge process requires facilities to be accredited and calls for mandatory participation in a dose index registry, a change aimed at strengthening the meaning behind the Image Wisely pledge.
“Image Wisely asks stakeholders to actually commit,” added William Mayo-Smith, MD, executive committee co-chair and RSNA representative, “by pledging support and using the radiation safety resources and free educational content on its website.”
Pledges made before Jan. 1, 2016, will expire at the end of this year, while facilities that pledged to all three levels of the previous version will not be required to re-pledge until 2017. All other facilities are required to take the new pledge in order to retain their status in the program.