TJC Calls for Restraint in Diagnostic Radiation
"Several recent studies have raised concerns about the risk of cancer from diagnostic imaging, especially in vulnerable populations such as children, young adults and pregnant women," the commission statement said.
Paul Schyve, MD, the commission's Senior Advisor for Healthcare Improvement, said in an interview Wednesday that the issue gained a higher profile because of a number of incidents that came to the Joint Commission's attention, some of which were widely reported by the media and some that were not.
"Over the past year or couple of years, the issue has been that people have started to identify that increasingly people are getting these diagnostic images using radiation, but almost nobody is keeping track of it, and all of a sudden, people are starting to see that this much use has side effects," he said.
"It was like 'To Err Is Human,' the report on medical errors by the Institute of Medicine in 1998. It wasn't that there was suddenly a dramatic increase in errors, but instead it rose to our attention that there's a risk here, a problem here, and we should be addressing this in the interests of patient safety."
ROUNDS: Performance Improvement
for Quality and Bottom-Line Outcomes
When: October 26, 2011
Register today for this live webcast from Denver Health with invited guest Virtua
All of a sudden, it seemed, peoples' attention was focused on the issue, "and we at the Joint Commission said, you know, a lot more people are being subject to these risks because we're using these (tests more frequently. We better, all of us, pay attention to this."
Of course, a physician's clinical judgment is important, he emphasized. The radiologist or technician needs to use enough radiation to get an image that is appropriate to read that scan, but not too much, and not so little that the image has to be redone, requiring a second CT and more radiation.
- How Top-Ranked MA Plans Earn Their Stars
- Readmissions: No Quick Fix to Costly Hospital Challenge
- How Hospitals Can Become 'Upstreamists'
- 4 Ways to Lower the Cost to Collect from Self-Pay Patients
- House Calls Key to Pioneer ACO Success
- How Telehealth Pays Off for Providers, Patients
- 4 Tips for Managing Employed Physicians
- WellPoint Dominates Nearly Half of Markets, AMA Says
- Defensive Medicine Still Prevalent Despite Tort Reform
- CMS Offers Some ACOs $114M for 'Upfront' Costs