By Jason Scott, MBA, CRA, FAHRA, RT(R)(MR)
A free AHRA local area meeting was held on February 22 at St. Vincent Fishers Hospital in Indianapolis. The meeting was generously sponsored by Carestream and was well-attended, with nearly 50 people in attendance. There were four presenters throughout the day who spoke on a variety of topics pertaining to radiology management.
The day started off with Justin McKay from Radiological Care Services, who presented on “Staff & Patient Danger: Hidden Infection Concerns.” This was a very interesting presentation that educated radiology administrators about hidden infections that are found, especially in lead aprons. One interesting statistic found more bacteria on a lead apron than on a gasoline pump handle! The Joint Commission is looking at how departments clean their lead aprons, and a policy on how to clean them needs to be made. According to the CDC, cleaning and disinfecting is the best way to reduce hospital acquired infections.
Bruce Miller from Carestream then spoke about the latest information regarding enterprise solutions. Radiology is becoming more information technology driven. In order to allow for easy access of images, they must be shared in a secure pathway. Physicians need the capability of looking at images on their mobile devices or tablets. Other medical areas like pathology and cardiology are moving toward a PACS-like system to store their data.
Tim Greist from St. Vincent Medical Physics spoke about radiology and its revolving risks. Radiation dose is somewhat relative; dose is dependent on body habitus, but it is also technologist driven. Protocols must be in place to make sure overutilization of radiation dose is being managed. Tim also refreshed our memories with some common radiation dose terms. He described the difference between stochastic effects, which show up years after radiation exposure, and non-stochastic effects, which result when a relatively high radiation dose is given over a short period of time.
Wrapping up the day was Justin Zenn from Medical Physics Consultants. Justin gave us an update on The Joint Commission standards. The standards are effective in CT dose optimization, equipment function, staff qualifications, safety and efficiency, and reduction of radiation dose without loss of image quality. In his presentation, Justin mentioned a checklist provided by The Joint Commission that we can use to make sure we are compliant with the new standards.
I would strongly encourage AHRA members to host an area meeting. It is a very simple process that all starts with contacting the AHRA office. It is a great way to foster relationships with your colleagues, develop new ideas to implement at your facility, and to spread the word about how great it is to belong to such an invaluable organization like the AHRA.
Jason Scott, MBA, CRA, FAHRA, RT(R)(MR) is the chief patient experience officer and director, imaging/respiratory/neurodiagnostics/wound care at Witham Health Services in Lebanon, IN. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.