Initially this affects non-critical access hospitals and outpatient imaging facilities starting January 1, 2016. Facilities that utilize CT systems that do not meet the minimum guidelines will have a reduction in procedural Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. The minimum guidelines are as follows:
DICOM RADIATION DOSE STRUCTURED REPORTING (RDSR)
The CT DICOM structured dose report enables capturing of post exam dose information in a standardized electronic format that can be included in the patient record. It is also the key to being able to monitor and track doses for establishment of diagnostic reference levels as well as facility dose management and quality assurance.
DOSE CHECK FEATURE
The Computed Tomography Dose Check standard provides for features that notify and alert the CT equipment operators, generally technologists, that prepare and set scan parameters (the settings for a particular scan to be administered to a particular patient) prior to a scan. If the estimated dose index is above the value defined and set by the operating group, practice or organization, then a notification is sent to the operator so that person can check the (intended) dose.
AUTOMATIC EXPOSURE CONTROL
Automatic exposure control (AEC) is an operational mode that tailors a CT system’s radiation output to the specific body regions and parts being imaged in order to manage the radiation delivered to obtain the desired level of diagnostic quality.
REFERENCE ADULT AND PEDIATRIC PROTOCOLS
A protocol is a set of scanning parameters (such as scan type(s): kV, mA, collimation, rotation speed, reconstruction algorithm, etc.) established to accomplish a particular clinical task (such as capturing an image of the abdomen). Protocols pre-loaded on a CT system that may be selected at the operator’s discretion are called reference protocols. Manufacturers develop reference protocols through detailed knowledge of the system’s specific performance characteristics and input from clinical collaborators.
To learn if your system complies with the NEMA XR-29 Smart Dose Standard, please contact your local Siemens/Cassling Account Executive.
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