NEMA’s New CT Access Control Standards Earn Kudos for Safety

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They like it, they really do! Several key groups involved in imaging radiation safety have lined up to support the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) new access control standard for CT equipment. As one would expect, The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), a division of NEMA, supports the new standard. But so does the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, and the ACR’s Image Wisely initiative. Published as NEMA’s XR 26 Access Controls for Computer Tomography: Identification, Interlocks, and Logs, the standard encourages assigning which CT system operators need permission to make changes beyond those needed for daily routine scanning and locking the system so that only a few operators can access system controls to make changes like altering protocols. In addition, the standard encourages setting up systems that track changes to protocols and who made the changes. “As CT technology continues to become more complex, it is more important than ever that CT manufacturers put safeguards in place to ensure that only authorized users can perform or change CT protocols,” stated Marilyn Goske MD, Chair of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging, sponsors of the Image Gently campaign in the press release. “The CT manufacturers and MITA’s rapid development and implementation of these new CT Access Control Standards are signs of their strong commitment to continuously improving patient care.” Existing CT system’s service, applications access or permissions will not change because of the new standard, which is forward looking. However, newer systems will likely have more access tracking and control to comply with the voluntary standard.