The Joint Commission (TJC) released its updated Diagnostic Imaging Requirements August 10, 2015. While many of these new requirements paired nicely with the new XR-29 equipment standards for dose recording and alerting the technologist when the system “projects” the prescribed scans will exceed the user-configured value (i.e., a pre-exam alert), the section titled Element of Performance for PI.02.01.01 A6. presents an interesting challenge to facilities. It requires imaging facilities to:
- Review and analyze incidents where the radiation dose index from diagnostic CT examinations exceeds expected dose index ranges established for your protocols; and then,
- Compare these incidents to external benchmarks.
Essentially, #1 above is a “post-exam” process. However, the new XR-29 standards do not provide this capability. The challenge for facilities, therefore, is establishing an efficient process for identifying when the dose exceeded the expected range. There are several third-party solutions that will help, but many facilities find them prohibitively expensive. Fortunately, Dose Registry Support Services has developed an easy to use, low-cost solution based on the data each facility submits to the ACR’s Dose Index Registry that identifies every incident retrospectively at intervals the facility determines.