ACR Launches Dose Index Registry for CT scan

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The American College of Radiology (ACR) has launched Dose Index Registry (DIR) as a component of its National Radiology Data Registry (NRDR). Medical imaging facilities are able to submit anonymized dose information for all CT exams performed to the DIR allowing them to compare their dose indices to other facilities of similar size or geographic area and to national benchmarks. Participating facilities receive periodic feedback comparing their dose levels to these benchmarks, thus they can make any necessary adjustments to lower dose received from scans.

Richard L. Morin, PhD, chair of the ACR Dose Index Registry, said: "The new ACR registry allows imaging providers and the imaging community to measure the effectiveness of dose lowering efforts over time. The imaging community is committed to optimizing CT dose and ensuring that patients receive only the amount necessary to get an effective medical image. The Registry is a significant new tool to ensure proper CT dose use and that patients receive safe, quality imaging care moving forward."

To participate in the new registry, a facility enrolls through the NRDR portal (https://nrdr.acr.org). Software is installed at the facility to receive dose information from the CT scanner or PACS for every CT exam carried out. Data is anonymized and transmitted to the registry. Periodic reports are provided to the facility through the NRDR portal.

John A. Patti, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, said: "The registry allows facilities to understand their dose index relative to other institutions in their area and nationwide. Right now, many facilities may know their dose levels, but not how those relate to other practices or national benchmarks. The Dose Index Registry helps imaging providers gauge how effective their dose optimization efforts are by continuously supplying measurement of their dose over time. At the national level, it provides a big picture view of how dose reduction policies are working in the clinical setting. This is a great step forward for medicine."

To eliminate software compatibility issues between vendors and facilities, the ACR worked with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), a global initiative that develops framework for passing vital health information seamlessly. IHE established a Radiation Exposure Monitoring Profile which allows vendors to collect and transmit information related to CT dose in a similar format. In order to protect patient privacy, patient identifiers are removed at the facility before data is transmitted to the DIR.

"Dose optimization is paramount to the ACR and the larger imaging community. This registry is a leap forward in the process of optimizing patient dose and the practice of safe, quality imaging care for patients. We are proud to offer this groundbreaking medical tool to the benefit of Americans and the American healthcare system," said Harvey L. Neiman, MD, ACR Chief Executive Officer.

The DIR is part of the overall ACR approach to medical radiation reduction, which includes mandatory accreditation of all medical imaging facilities and adoption of computerized decision support/imaging ordering systems according to ACR Appropriateness Criteria®.


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