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ACR Commission & Committee Chairs, Former Board Chair to Present at NIH Radiation Dose Summit

Reston, VA (Feb. 22, 2011) — Three American College of Radiology commission and committee chairs and the former chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors will outline strategies for transforming computed tomography (CT) technology and its use to minimize medical radiation exposure at a Feb. 24, 25 event sponsored by the National Institutes of Health titled, "NIH Summit to Focus on Management of Radiation Dose in Computerized Tomography – Emphasis Toward the Sub-mSv CT Exam."

ACR member presentations include:

James A. Brink, MD, chair, ACR Body Imaging Commission (co-chair, Image Wisely Joint Task Force)

Dr. Brink will discuss ACR medical imaging accreditation programs. ACR facility accreditation decreases duplicate scans and unnecessary radiation exposure by requiring physicians to meet basic education/training standards, scanners to be surveyed regularly by a medical physicist to ensure proper function and technologists operating scanners to be certified.

Donald P. Frush, MD, chair, ACR Pediatric Imaging Commission (Image Gently Steering Committee)

Dr. Frush will highlight the Image Gently initiative to raise awareness of opportunities to lower the radiation dose used in the imaging of children. Image Gentlysm involves more than 60 medical societies and 700,000 medical professionals worldwide. The effort is widely recognized as improving radiation protection for children around the globe.

Richard L. Morin, PhD, chair of the ACR Safety Committee

Dr. Morin will take part in a primary panel discussion titled, “Opportunities for Improved CT Benefit vs. Risks: Challenges and Solution.” He will also serve as moderator for the second session of the summit titled, “Opportunities to Improve.”

James H. Thrall, former ACR Board Chair (chair of Radiology, Mass. General Hospital)

Dr. Thrall will discuss the effort at MGH to lower the dose associated with many CT exams to below one mSv. MGH has organized a department task force to implement strategies to reach this goal. MGH has already successfully completed many types of CT exams that utilized less than one mSv of radiation.

Imaging exams save millions of lives each year. Scans are directly linked to longer life expectancy and declining death rates. The responsible use of radiation is essential to continuing these patient benefits. As the medical professionals with extensive training and unique expertise in the effects of radiation, radiologists and medical physicist have long worked to minimize dose from individual scans, avoid unnecessary exams and help other providers do so. These programs can reduce adverse events, unwarranted radiation exposure and unnecessary cost if Congress would vote to require all imaging providers — including hospitals — to participate in them:

Computerized decision support software, based on ACR Appropriateness Criteria®, help doctors prescribe the most appropriate scan for the patient’s condition and reduce unnecessary exams.

ACR accreditation decreases duplicate scans and unnecessary radiation exposure by requiring basic physician training standards, regular surveys of scanners by a medical physicist and technologist certification.

The ACR CT Dose Index Registry allows facilities to submit anonymous patient dose information for each CT exam and compare their doses against national benchmarks. The system will alert them when thresholds are exceeded.

To speak to an ACR spokesperson, please contact Shawn Farley at 703-648-8936 or PR@acr.org.

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