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Radiation Dose Quality Improvement Study

Each year, based on category, the quality improvement coordinator, under the direction of the cancer committee, develops, analyzes and documents the required studies that measure the quality of care and outcomes for patients with cancer.

Description of Quality Study:

Reducing the required radiation dose during Computed Tomography (CT scans) is of upmost importance to all of our patients at UVA, but our cancer patients are particularly vulnerable as they require frequent imaging. The Radiology Department utilizes start-of-the-art equipment and a team of physicians, technologists and medical physicist design CT protocols with the lowest dose possible while maintaining diagnostic quality.

Study Criteria:

We have recently procured dose tracking software which will assist us in analyzing radiation dose and identify outliers.  We will also be joining a national dose registry to compare our local dose averages to national benchmarks (ACR Dose Index Registry). Through this close monitoring and introspection, we expect our overall radiation dose to continue to decrease while maintain diagnostic image quality.

Findings:

The average radiation dose for a combined Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis CT scan performed at UVA is 16.5 + 5.8 mSv.  National average/benchmark for this type of exam is 21 mSv. We plan to implement additional dose reduction in addition to many progressive steps which have gotten us to this point. After one month of data collection following the additional dose reduction we will again look at our average. In August of 2015, we plan to start submitting radiation dose data to the ACR Dose Index Registry as part of this Quality Improvement process.        

National Benchmark Used: ACR Dose Index Registry

Date of Publishing: 12.31.2015

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