Radiation from medical imaging is in the public spotlight more than ever. Once a topic kept within the medical community, radiation dose is now top of mind for patients and practitioners alike.
Houston Healthcare serves 300,000 people each year in the central Georgia region, and has worked to improve the healthcare communities it serves since its establishment in 1960. But as healthcare reform got under way, patient care and satisfaction became more important than ever.
Houston Healthcare was determined to be a leader in patient safety. It was using four Aquilion™ CT systems from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. and needed to ensure its staff was maximizing the technology to image patients with the lowest possible radiation dose.
Houston Healthcare partnered with Toshiba to implement the comprehensive dose management program, PROTECT. Part of the PROTECT program included upgrading its three existing CT systems with the VeloCT console, which includes new enhancements for patient safety, dose management and workflow. Houston Healthcare also installed a brand-new Aquilion™ PRIME to round out its CT offerings. To maximize this technology, Toshiba ensured the team was fully educated on the CT systems, new protocols and ways to answer questions from patients about the exams.
For Houston Healthcare, patient safety has always been a priority. Clinicians can now image patients with the lowest possible dose without compromising diagnostic accuracy, and the facility has seen a 65 percent radiation dose reduction in routine abdomen/pelvis exams, a 59 percent dose reduction for routine chest exams and a 7 percent reduction in routine head procedures.
For its CT imaging, Houston Healthcare was using three Aquilion™ systems and had just recently purchased a new Aquilion PRIME from Toshiba. With the right CT technology, and a dose-reduction committee with Toshiba’s strategic partner Phoenix Technology Corp., Houston Healthcare had its foundation in place and needed a program to tie all the elements together. That answer was Toshiba’s comprehensive dose management program, PROTECT.
PROTECT is a three-year, comprehensive CT radiation dose management program combining Toshiba’s technology solutions with its education and support. Through in-person collaboration, Toshiba experts review the system’s hardware and software and consider implementation of additional dose reduction technologies. Now, Houston Healthcare can ensure quality care and safety are priorities during every patient exam.
As part of the program, Houston Healthcare upgraded its three existing Aquilion 64 CT systems with the most comprehensive dose-reduction technologies and dose management tools, included as part of the VeloCT console upgrade.
“Technology upgrades through Toshiba’s VeloCT program, such as AIDR 3D, have been imperative to achieving dose levels significantly lower than the standards set by the American College of Radiology,” said Tim Sisco, Director of Cardiovascular and Imaging Services, Houston Healthcare.
Through the PROTECT partnership program, Houston Healthcare has achieved tremendous dose savings. Clinicians achieved a 65 percent reduction in routine abdomen/pelvis exams, a 59 percent dose reduction for routine chest exams and a 7 percent reduction in routine head procedures.
“Houston Healthcare has addressed the national concerns regarding radiation safety with a positive and proactive investment of resources toward improving patient safety in radiology,” said Sandra Paige, MS, medical physicist, Phoenix Technology Corporation. “These efforts include providing education and training to the public and medical community to increase awareness about medical radiation exposure, and the implementation of new medical imaging equipment.”
Not only does PROTECT help facilities lower dose, it also raises awareness and educates patients on CT technology and the importance of low-dose exams.
“With the PROTECT program in place,” Sisco said, “both our physicians and technicians have learned how to have conversations with patients about dose safety and reassure them that the exams they are receiving are being conducted with the lowest possible dose to produce the high image quality required for accurate diagnoses.”
Lowering CT radiation dose is more than just good technology. Toshiba’s PROTECT program is a partnership that lets healthcare providers know that CT dose and safety is not a choice.Back To Top
Optimize Dose Management for Every Patient, Every Time. Appl Radiol.
Cynthia E. Keen is a New York City area-based medical writer specializing in clinical subjects and healthcare technology. She writes feature articles for Applied Radiology and the contents of the Applied Radiology newsletter.