Advocate Health Care, the largest integrated health care system in the state of Illinois, USA, and GE Healthcare have announced a joint effort to help further reduce radiation dose in computed tomography (CT).
The goal is to optimise care for patients needing imaging procedures and reduce radiation where possible without adversely impacting image quality. It is one of the first announcements of the GE Blueprint for low dose, a comprehensive campaign in which GE Healthcare is working alongside leading US health systems to further reduce radiation dose in CT imaging. Leaders from Advocate and GE Healthcare unveiled the Advocate-based GE Blueprint for low dose on 6 September during an event at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Illinois, USA.
“Advocate Health Care is committed to delivering the best health outcomes for our patients,” said John Anastos, chairman of radiology at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. “By providing the best-in-class diagnostic capabilities, and leveraging advanced technologies to capture the highest-quality CT images, we ensure all of our patients receive the lowest possible radiation dose in each and every procedure.”
Advocate’s radiation dose reduction programme includes a plan to install the GE DoseWatch software on all its diagnostic and radiation therapy CT scanners. The technology allows for precise management of dose data. Advocate will also participate in the American College of Radiology (ACR) Dose Index Registry (DIR). The national database allows CT facilities to compare their dose levels to other CT facilities across the country.
Additionally, Advocate will hold an annual radiation dose symposium designed to educate associates on the latest in CT technology, clinical protocols and best practices for radiation dose reduction. A CT Steering Committee will oversee and monitor the programme’s effectiveness.
CT imaging is a critical tool in helping physicians diagnose disease and has positively impacted millions of lives. Historically, physicians have had to balance the desires for high image quality and low radiation dose levels in CT.
Through ongoing collaboration with healthcare leaders including Advocate, GE is changing the equation in diagnostic imaging. Launched in June 2012, GE Blueprint offers a comprehensive approach based on an assessment of a health care provider’s technology, people and processes and helps identify breakthrough imaging technologies, system-specific solutions and processes, and comprehensive imaging “blueprints” to help providers achieve low-dose, high-definition diagnostic capabilities. Additionally, solutions such as DoseWatch, a first-of-its-kind management tool, will further enable Advocate Health Care and other providers to measure, track and optimise patient radiation dose over time.
“GE Healthcare has long collaborated with healthcare providers as they work to continuously reduce radiation dose in CT imaging,” said Steve Gray, vice president and general manager for Computed Tomography at GE Healthcare. “Building upon our announcement last November to invest more than US$800 million in the development of low-dose technologies over 15 years, GE Blueprint will help hospitals optimise imaging departments systemically and significantly.”
Leveraging a team of “Low Dose Architects,” GE Blueprint helps Advocate and other hospital systems assess their dose management programmes, and collaborates on recommendations for end-to-end dose management, including staff education, process improvements, equipment assessments and CT technologies that can enable low-dose, high-definition imaging.