The American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America formed the Joint Task Force on Adult Radiation Protection to address concerns about the surge of public exposure to ionizing radiation from medical imaging.
The Joint Task Force collaborated with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists to create the Image Wisely campaign with the objective of lowering the amount of radiation used in medically necessary imaging studies and eliminating unnecessary procedures.
Image Wisely offers resources and information to radiologists, medical physicists, other imaging practitioners, and patients.
Take an Image Wisely PLEDGE!
I have reviewed the Image Wisely webpage for Referring Practitioners and pledge to the following:
- I will educate myself regarding the relative radiation exposures for the various imaging exams which use ionizing radiation (plain X-rays, fluoroscopic studies, CT scans, and nuclear medicine studies). In my practice, I will balance the medical benefit to my patients for any of these imaging exams I order against any potential radiation risk associated with that exam.
- I will consult, as needed, with professionals specializing in medical imaging (radiology, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging) in order to choose the most appropriate imaging examinations for my patients.
I wish to optimize the use of radiation in imaging patients and thereby pledge:
- To put my patients' safety, health and welfare first by optimizing imaging examinations to use only the radiation necessary to produce diagnostic-quality images.
- To convey the principles of the Image Wisely® program to the imaging team in order to ensure that my facility optimizes its use of radiation when imaging patients.
- To communicate optimal patient imaging strategies to referring physicians, and to be available for consultation.
- To routinely review imaging protocols to ensure that the least radiation necessary to acquire a diagnostic-quality image is used for each examination.
- To monitor examination radiation dose indices to enable comparison to established diagnostic reference levels.
The pledge below applies to all facilities.
Our imaging facility images wisely and thereby provides the following:
- All imaging professionals have taken the Pledge for Imaging Professionals.
- All radiologists and technologists performing exams using ionizing radiation have an understanding of the radiation exposure so they may advise patients, families and other caregivers on the benefits and potential risks of the study.
- Radiation doses are optimized to levels assuring that only the necessary amounts of radiation are used to produce images tailored to patient size and the diagnostic task.
- We review and incorporate as appropriate currently available recommendations for imaging techniques and protocols using American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), American College of Radiology (ACR) and vendor recommendations.
- Whenever possible, dose reduction methodologies (e.g., automatic exposure control, vendor supplied programs, attention to multiphase appropriateness, shielding, etc.) are employed to minimize patient exposure.
- We attempt to prevent duplication of exams by providing the capacity to load outside exams into our Picture Archiving System (PACs).
- Our radiology practice is consultative in nature and provides ongoing education to referring practitioners on the benefits and potential risks of imaging with ionizing radiation.
- We manually or electronically monitor dose indices for common examinations, compare these indices with established benchmarks (Diagnostic Reference Levels), and evaluate outliers on a timely basis to prevent unnecessary exposure to patients or images with insufficient diagnostic information.
- Our imaging facility participates in a dose index registry (local, regional or national) that includes routine evaluation of examination performance and dose indices.
- Our imaging facility has earned accreditation from an organization that directly evaluates the following radiation-related attributes:
- Radiation dose indices and compliance with accreditation pass/fail thresholds
- Clinical image quality (peer-reviewed by an external, qualified interpreting physician)
- Phantom image quality (peer-reviewed by an external, qualified medical physicist)
- Personnel (qualifications set by the accrediting organization)