Governor Brown Signs CA Radiation Reporting Fix-Up Bill
AB 510, the California bill that amends the California Radiation Protection Act that took effect on July 1, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, July 13. The original law, SB 1237, required California radiologists to add radiation dose levels to their reports and report radiation overdoses to patients, physicians, and state regulatory officials. AB 510 modified several elements of SB 1237 that made compliance difficult. The newly signed bill addresses these problems by clarifying reporting requirements and extending timelines for reporting. For example, the original law required providers to report to the state and the referring physician anytime a portion of the body other than the one being examined was irradiated. Since this occurs normally with many procedures, AB 510 clarified the true intention of the law to only require the reporting of actual medical errors, like performing a CT scan a physician had not ordered or a wrong scan, such as a head CT when a chest CT was what was ordered. The fix does not clarify one industry concern, which was how to get radiation dose information into patients electronic medical records. Currently there is not an automated system for doing this. The University of California Dose Optimization and Standardization Endeavor (UC-DOSE) Project has published guidelines for complying with this portion of the law.