Sci-Fri AM: MRI and Diagnostic Imaging - 02: Quality Improvement: Diagnostic Reference Levels for Interior Health CT exams – L-Spine, Chest/Abdomen/pelvis, Abdomen/Pelvis, Head

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Abstract

Diagnostic Reference Levels are used to optimize patient dose and image quality in the clinical setting. It is assumed that the majority of exams are of diagnostic quality, or the radiologists would request protocol adjustments. By investigating the dose indicator distributions from all scanners, the upper DRL can be set to the 75th percentile of the distribution and a lower DRL can be set to the 10th percentile. Scanners using doses consistently outside the upper/lower DRL range can be adjusted accordingly. 11 CT scanners, all contributing to the American College of Radiology Dose Index Registry (ACR DIR) were used in this study. Dose indicator data were compiled from the ACR DIR data and local DRLs established. Scanners with median doses outside the upper/lower DRL were followed-up with. Using effective dose and exam volumes, collective dose was determined before and after protocol adjustments to evaluate the effect of this quality improvement effort. The quality initiative is complete for L-spine and Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis exams and only initial surveys were completed for Head and Abdomen/Pelvis examsg. Median Scanner Dose reductions were 8.8 and 4.9 % for L-spine and Chest/Abdomen/Pelvis exams, respectively, resulting with collective dose reductions of 0.7 and 3.2 person•Sv/yr. Follow-up is ongoing for Abdomen/Pelvis and Head exams.

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