Putting Patients First Grant Recipients Announced

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By AHRA Staff

December 2011—The 2011 grant recipients of the Putting Patients First program were announced at the AHRA and RMBA 2011 Awards Reception at RSNA in Chicago. The list of winners and the programs they will be using their grants for are listed below. Congratulations!


Use of Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Replace Computed Tomography in the Imaging of Appendicitis in Children

Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX

To reduce children’s exposure to ionizing radiation and increase the ability to diagnose appendicitis, Texas Children’s Hospital aims to develop a program that completely eliminates radiation and intravenous contrast administration to children with suspected appendicitis. Instead of using CT as the primary or secondary imaging tool, they propose MR imaging as a more effective and less harmful imaging examination. Because Texas Children’s Hospital is one of the largest pediatric hospitals in the US, it will be an ideal environment to evaluate this approach for children.


“Exposing Safety”: Strategies for Reducing Radiation Exposure

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Dunn, NC

In the imaging world, it is important to have an understanding of radiation safety to protect both patients and staff. By creating an online in-service educational tool to be accessed through their intranet site, St. Vincent’s Medical Center will address the basic and more complex needs of staff and patients to maintain the highest level of safety possible. They will strive to achieve participation by and education of all personnel and physicians who order and perform image guided procedures with use of radiation. Physicians can be educated at departmental meetings or through the credentialing process.


Medical Imaging to Pharmacy

Harnett Health Betsy Johnson Hospital, Dunn, NC

Betsy Johnson Hospital has created the “Medical Imaging to Pharmacy” program so that the hospital will be more engaged in mitigating certain preventable adverse events. The program focuses specifically on the clinical pathway around administration of IV contrast media to patients, standardizes the review of patient history, and introduces the use of pharmacy first review. Itm will lower adverse event risk within medical imaging and encourage greater coordination among the technologists, radiologists, and pharmacists working toward the overall improvement of patient care. Implementation of this program as a best practice will increase patient safety and decrease hospital liability, and it will also increase communication between medical imaging and pharmacy, two departments that typically do not have a strong history of collaboration.


Reducing CT Scan Cumulative Dose

John T. Mather Memorial Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY

In order to increase patient safety by reducing radiation doses, John T. Mather Hospital will install software on their recently obtained 320 slice CT scanner that captures the dose information for reporting and a historical record. The software will also be installed on Mather’s 16 slice CT scanner. This will allow the patient’s cumulative dose to be shared with physicians and patients so that informed decisions can be made to ensure patients’ safety. In addition, the project will include patient, physician, and community education through printed materials, presentations and office visits, and the hospital’s website.


Video Visits: Using Media to Ease the Pediatric Imaging Process

Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI

CT is a valuable diagnostic tool, but unfamiliarity with the test and surrounding environment often causes a high level of anxiety and discomfort for pediatric patients. This can result in the need for repeated studies and increased dose or non-diagnostic studies. To address these issues with CT, Bronson Methodist Hospital will develop a video that explains the CT process on a level to which a child can relate and will show in detail the patient surroundings and environment. This video will be teamed with staff training so that imaging employees develop a foundational skill set that allows them to more effectively support the pediatric patient population.


Enhancing the Patient and Family Experience in a Children’s Radiology Department through the use of Tablet

Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 

A hospital can be a frightening place for children. Radiology staff help children through various tests and procedures that even adults would find difficult, using distraction tools such as books and toys to keep the children calm and focused. Children’s Hospital Medical Center will be replacing these distraction tools with tablet computers, such as the iPad, with a variety of different literature, music, movies, and applications pre-loaded onto them and organized by age groups. The tablet computers will be much more portable than the various books, toys, and video equipment that are not always feasible to carry into each procedure.


Initiative to Reduce Pediatric Diagnostic Imaging

Fairview Health System, St. Paul, MN

To ensure that all children receive care that is high quality and cost effective, Fairview Health Systems is creating a web based education program to provide families, physicians, nurses, and technologists immediate and timely access to best practice guidelines and appropriate education material for pediatric appendicitis and head trauma. CT is the standard diagnostic medium for both of these conditions, and providing the best practice guidelines in a very accessible format will help to decrease the risks associated with CT, such as exposure to radiation, delays in operative care, and significant healthcare expenses.

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