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TJC issues alert on diagnostic imaging
The message from the Joint Commission's latest Sentinel Event Alert is clear: reduce radiation exposure from diagnostic procedures.
Over the last 20 years, the typical American has seen exposure to ionizing radiation double. Most of the time, patients are sent for imaging without the prescribing physician having any idea of how much other radiation the patient has been exposed to. Meanwhile, recent studies have increased concerns about the potential health risks associated with too much radiation, particularly in certain populations, like children.
Joint Commission President Mark Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, says that there isn't a lot of consensus on how much is too much, and in what time frame. It's prudent, then, to develop strategies to ensure patients get the right imaging with the lowest possible exposure to radiation.
The latest alert makes the following suggestions:
More information is available at the Joint Commission website, www.jointcommission.com.