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Mayo Clinic Calls for Standardization of Imaging Protocols for Children

Center proposes three child-centered measures

According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits of medical imaging far outweigh the risks when children receive the right exam, ordered the right way, with the right radiation dose. However, overuse and misuse of imaging change the benefit–risk ratio, and the Clinic is leading a collaborative effort to ensure that a national protocol is put into action.

The group’s commentary, published online in the Journal of Patient Safety, calls for the American College of Radiology, the Joint Commission, the Intersociety Accreditation Commission, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to require three safety practices for the accreditation of all American hospitals and advanced diagnostic imaging facilities.

“No hospital or medical imaging facility in the country should be granted the privilege of imaging children unless it first meets fundamental safe practice performance measures,” said lead author Stephen Swenson, MD.

The three child-centered measures proposed for accreditation include:

  • The right exam: use of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network Clinical Prediction Rule for minor head-trauma imaging
  • The right way: protocols to reduce dual-phase head and chest computed tomography (CT) imaging
  • The right radiation dose: use of size-specific pediatric CT imaging protocols
  • “We have the knowledge and the tools today that can substantially improve the safety and quality of care for our children, while also decreasing costs. We have a compelling opportunity to reduce harm for the most susceptible population: our children,” Swensen concludes.

    Source: Mayo Clinic; July 10, 2014.

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