More than 700 providers have signed on to an initiative to use the least radiation necessary for imaging procedures and communicate the optimal imaging protocols to referring physicians.

The Image Wisely campaign, announced during RSNA 2010 in Chicago, initially will focus on CT scans, which were performed nearly 87 million times in 2009, according to the Image Wisely sponsors. They include the American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America, American Society of Radiologic Technologists and American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

The campaign encourages image providers to, among other processes, optimize imaging exams to use only the radiation necessary for diagnostic images, and routinely review imaging protocols.

The initiative also encourages providers to participate in a planned nationwide radiation dose registry, spearheaded by the Food and Drug Administration, to pool data from many imaging facilities nationwide to capture dose information from a variety of imaging studies. This registry will help define diagnostic reference levels where they do not yet exist, validate levels that do exist, and provide benchmarks for health care facilities to use in individual imaging studies.

The Image Wisely Web site, at imagewisely.org, provides the latest research and educational materials for radiologists, as well as a downloadable "My Medical Imaging History" card co-developed with the FDA that enables patients to track their imaging exams.

--Greg Gillespie

 

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