Minn. Dept. of Health pledges support for Image Wisely/Gently campaigns

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has become the first state health agency to take the Image Wisely/Image Gently pledge to promote optimal use of medical imaging technology.

MDH will collaborate with providers and professionals in the state to spread the message from the pair of nationwide safety education campaigns, according to an MDH press release.

Image Wisely is a joint effort of the American College of Radiology, the Radiological Society of North America, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and is focused on adult patients. Image Gently is a project of the Alliance for Radiation in Pediatric Imaging and focused on the needs of children. Both initiatives have a strong emphasis on reducing exposure to ionizing radiation.

At the state level, MDH will be working with the Minnesota Radiological Society, the North Central Chapter of the AAPM (NCCAAPM) and the Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technologists.

"The practices being encouraged through the two education campaigns emphasize, first of all, the importance of ensuring that the diagnostic procedures involved are medically justified," Parham Alaei, PhD, of the NCCAAM, said in the release. "That means the medical practitioners ordering imaging procedures which utilize x-rays need to carefully balance the potential radiation exposure risks with the benefits gained from these procedures.

"The other aspect focuses on the actual imaging process, where imaging professionals need to carefully balance actual exposure to ionizing radiation with the need to produce an acceptable image for interpretation and diagnosis."

MDH will support the Image Wisely/Image Gently campaigns by continuing to ensure compliance with rules and regulations regarding the use of imaging equipment, and by conducting education and outreach activities with imaging professionals and facilities.

Medical imaging professionals, professional organizations and provider organizations are being asked to publicly pledge support for the effort. According to MDH, the pledge has been taken in Minnesota by facilities of the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, including sites in Alexandria, St. Cloud, Willmar and ten locations in the Twin Cities area. Consulting Radiologists in Minneapolis, which serves a number of facilities in the upper Midwest, also has taken the pledge.