JACR: Partners HealthCare establishes CT contrast administration policy

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Partners HealthCare System of Boston, which runs Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, has implemented a CT contrast media policy to help improve patient safety, according to an editorial in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

"Before this initiative was launched, there was variation in the practices across the healthcare system for the use of contrast media during CT," said Kathryn McCullough, MS, administrative director of radiology at Partners. "The group believed that the CT contrast media policies and procedures could be standardized to improve patient safety," she said.

"One improvement was the creation of a standardized process for communicating and documenting contrast reaction information in the patient's electronic medical record. This allows radiologists, technologists and nurses to easily enter and check patient CT contrast reaction information across all Partners hospitals, which has greatly enhanced patient safety," McCullough said. 

"The CT Contrast Media Administration Policy we created was approved by a system-wide quality and patient safety committee and is consistently being used as a guideline for CT contrast media administration," she said. "It gives us a standard approach for screening patients, responding to contrast media reactions and tracking patients with a history of contrast reactions.

The policy has been well received across the system and has had a significant impact on patient safety," McCullough said.