Radiation dose is an important metric for patient safety, both for single exams where patients may be exposed to large doses and also for multiple exams where patients are exposed to ionizing radiation, said senior author Dr. Ross Filice. The university's interventional radiology section wanted to be able to monitor radiation dose metrics to quantify the dose received by a particular patient.
They also wanted to be able to identify outlier exams that exceeded the section's dose norm, and to allow individual radiologists to visualize their own radiation dose metrics over time and by procedure, Filice said.
As a result, the researchers developed a standard template to enable three dose metrics -- fluoroscopy time, air kerma-area product, and reference point air kerma -- to be entered in the radiology report.
"Standardizing this template made it easier ... to quickly identify these values, but more importantly allowed us to create an informatics application that could automatically parse this data into a database for more advanced analysis and visualization," Filice told AuntMinnie.com. "Once we acquired this data, we could tell our physicians how often they use the template, as compliance is an important quality measure; could give them summaries of their dose metrics over time and by procedure; and can quickly identify procedures with measurements beyond the section norm."
These outliers can easily be further investigated to determine their cause, he said.
"We hope, as others have shown in the literature, that simply heightening awareness of dose will cause dose to decrease," Filice said. "And we can also intervene in outlier cases where there are correctable issues."
This talk will be given by co-author Dr. Michael Bazylewicz, a former Georgetown resident and current fellow at Emory University.