Joint Commission Seeks Comments on Revised Requirements for Imaging

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The non-profit Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., accreditation organization, the Joint Commission, is welcoming feedback on its newly revised standards for diagnostic imaging in ambulatory care, hospital and critical access hospital settings.

The revised standards beef up existing language on CT and MR safety for staff and patients, as well as codify best practices for imaging system maintenance. This includes requiring accredited organizations to have a qualified (as defined by the Joint Commission) medical physicist conduct a performance evaluation on CT systems at least annually. In addition, to checking metrics like image uniformity and slice thickness and position accuracy, the medical physicist must make sure the actual radiation dose given does not deviate from the dose displayed on the system by more than 20 percent.

Advancements in imaging system technology are also reflected. This includes new standards for radiation dose monitoring and recording when systems that can track radiation dose are used. In addition, it makes it a standard to record adverse events, like MR patient burns and incidents when the radiation dose exceeded what was recommended.

The new proposed requirements can be reviewed at these links:

Ambulatory Care Proposed Revisions for Diagnostic Imaging
• Hospital Proposed Revisions for Diagnostic Imaging
Critical Access Hospital Proposed Revisions for Diagnostic Imaging

The deadline for submitting comments is September 25. Instructions for submitting comments by either survey, online form or by mail is posted on the Joint Commission website.