Thursday Bits and Bytes: Safety in Medical Imaging

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Today at RSNA, an expert panel met to discuss topics ranging from medical imaging appropriateness to radiation exposure from imaging to efforts toward curbing utilization. Panelists, who hailed from institutions all over the country, tackled the difficult task of clearing up public misconceptions about health risks from medical radiation. They aimed to spread public awareness of radiology’s role in ensuring patient safety – and of the role overutilization and self-referral can play in exposing patients to unnecessary radiation. “Imaging procedures conducted for the wrong reasons contribute to unnecessary costs and radiation exposure to patients,” said panel member William R. Hendee, PhD, of Medical College of Wisconsin. “Radiology is working to reduce unnecessary procedures, but some of the causes of overutilization are beyond radiology’s influence.”