Building a safety culture

Building a safety culture
for dose management

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Establishing a safety culture for radiation dose management requires elements such as harmonization across the institution for imaging procedures and protocols, information provided to patients about the risks of radiation exposure, and a common set of expectations regarding safety embodied within each department’s operations.

Why the need for a ‘safety culture’?


Although radiation has been used in healthcare for more than 100 years, recent public events and increased media attention have thrust it into the spotlight. General industry consensus is that radiation must be better controlled. Implementation of a strong safety culture proves commitment.

The challenge


The challenge for most hospitals is twofold. First they must overcome decades of practices, attitudes, beliefs and misconceptions about radiation and the use of X-rays in medical practice. Second, they must acknowledge that diverse departments within the hospital (using X-ray equipment) are not all equally prepared to manage safety needs.

The goal


The goal is to develop a ‘safety culture’ that promotes comprehensiveness, consistency and coordination for safety across all departments – a culture that is willing to hold each department accountable towards meeting the goal.

Establishing a safety culture for radiation dose management requires elements such as harmonization across the institution for imaging procedures and protocols, information provided to patients about the risks of radiation exposure, and a common set of expectations regarding safety embodied within each department’s operations.

Why the need for a ‘safety culture’?


Although radiation has been used in healthcare for more than 100 years, recent public events and increased media attention have thrust it into the spotlight. General industry consensus is that radiation must be better controlled. Implementation of a strong safety culture proves commitment.

The challenge


The challenge for most hospitals is twofold. First they must overcome decades of practices, attitudes, beliefs and misconceptions about radiation and the use of X-rays in medical practice. Second, they must acknowledge that diverse departments within the hospital (using X-ray equipment) are not all equally prepared to manage safety needs.

The goal


The goal is to develop a ‘safety culture’ that promotes comprehensiveness, consistency and coordination for safety across all departments – a culture that is willing to hold each department accountable towards meeting the goal.

Stages of dose management


Where does your hospital fit?

You can get there from here

To move along the spectrum of radiation dose management (from Stage One to Stage Three), the hospital needs to first perform a critical and comprehensive assessment of how sources of radiation are managed, i.e., their procurement, installation, use, maintenance, and replacement. Common protocols, procedures, etc. must also be identified and complied. Then:
  • Obtain senior management support – Without their support, efforts to bring all departments to the same table will be difficult – at best.
  • Involve the proper committees – Key member of the Radiation Safety Committee and the Patient Safety Committee must participate
  • Identify necessary resources – Assessments, reviews, meetings, etc. cannot happen if resource needs are not identified and approved as part of the planning process.
  • Implement improvements – The hospital must have a vision of what it wants to achieve and act on those goals.
  • Measure progress – Progress must be measured using appropriate metrics that will provide accurate results.
Tools that help organize data, provide key performance indicators, and perform analyses are important. The best tool is one that will help institutions gain control over how imaging exams are ordered, monitors institution/ department/machine/ operator performance for comparison against guidelines and standards, and helps identify where improvements can be most effective.

Enable dose management across your organization
 

DoseWise Portal is a vendor-agnostic, web-based solution that collects, measures, analyzes, and reports patient & staff radiation exposure, assisting you to take control of quality of care, efficiency, and patient/staff safety.

Positive returns


Studies have shown that instituting a safety culture for dose management benefits hospitals by demonstrating to staff and patients the importance they place on their safety and well being which improves morale, employee retention and patient loyalty. An institution that has achieved a safety culture for radiation dose management has:

• Instilled the importance of radiation safety at all levels of staff within the organization
• Created an aligned infrastructure consistent with the culture
• Provided the resources needed to support the infrastructure
• Performed appropriate measures to determine success and is constantly learning and making changes to improve

More dose management articles and insights

  • Is your CT Smart Dose compliant?

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  • Addressing the Joint Commission standards

    Addressing the Joint Commission standards

    You’ll need to track, record, and improve X-ray dose performance to comply with new regulations.

  • Dose management in the OR

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    Today’s complex minimally invasive procedures demand intelligent radiation dose management.