On Wednesday, the Joint Commission issued a sentinel event alert which warns of the radiation risks associated with diagnostic imaging. This new alert, coupled with the 2012 CMS accreditation requirement for freestanding imaging facilities, indicates increasing formal attention on radiology and imaging safety procedures.
In an interview with AuntMinnie.com, Joint Commission chief medical officer Ana Pujols-McKee stated that “there’s no single event or reason for the sentinel alert.” Instead, the alert refers to several causes for concern, including two recent studies which placed the incidence of cancer related to CT radiation between 0.02 and 0.04 percent.
Joint Commission targets imaging in new sentinel event alert
Make sure to join us this Tuesday at 3:00PM EST (8/30/2011) for a Partnership webconference “Next Generation Imaging Data Storage: Strategic Considerations for Adoption”.
As the quantity and complexity of imaging data produced in hospitals and imaging centers steadily grows, radiology leaders are facing extraordinary challenges in keeping up with exploding storage requirements and daunting new regulatory requirements. As next generation solutions for PACS data storage and management emerge, including off-site storage and cloud based sharing, providers arefinding new opportunities to cut their storage costs, fulfill HIPAA requirements, and improve their clinician’s access to information.
This webconference will examine the growing requirements of imaging data storage andmanagement, and provide some guidance for radiology leaders examining potential next generation solutions. Sign up here to reserve your spot.
The appropriateness of mammography screening has long been an issue in the medical community, especially in light of the US Preventive Services Task Force 2009 recommendation against routine mammography screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49 (you can read more of our coverage on the topic here
). With a pair of articles by Kopans et al
and Jorgensen et al
, the September issue of Radiology
continues the debate on the effectiveness of mammography screening in preventing breast cancer mortality and the risk of overdiagnosis.
The key concern when analyzing the appropriateness of mammography screening is that, in Jorgensen’s words, “the goal of screening mammography is earlier detection of only those invasive tumors that would otherwise be lethal.” An unknown percentage of breast cancers, especially ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), can remain noninvasive and would never become clinically evident. Though highly contentious, some researchers even suggest that detectable breast cancer can spontaneously regress if left untreated. The authors of both articles disagree about appropriate estimates for these cases of overdiagnosis, with estimates ranging anywhere from 1% or 2% (the low end of Kopans’ estimates) up to 57% (the high end of Jorgensen’s estimates).
Radiology highlights two sides of the mammography debate