To dose or not to dose... and how much

Have you gone to your local electronics store recently and looked at the various options available for digital cameras? I’m blown away by how many megapixels these cameras now have. Sometimes the clarity these cameras offer would only come in handy if I chose to enlarge a photo to be bigger than my home. If I asked my wife what camera is better, she would certainly go for the 15 megapixel, while I would be left convincing her to select the one that costs the least. I am sure if you asked a professional photographer, they would recommend the highest megapixel camera with the highest resolution image, which would show the most detail. Does high resolution image justify the cost of the equipment?

The same issue is rearing its ugly head for radiologists reading CT scans. A radiologist must determine if an image has enough clarity to make a diagnosis, and a physician must weigh the cost and benefit every time a patient is exposed to radiation. More dose can mean improved image quality–but at what cost? And what if that patient was someone you loved?

Imaging vendors continue to develop new CT technology to help improve patient care. GE has ASiR, Siemens has IRIS, Philips has iDose, and Toshiba has AIDR. This new technology requires education and sometimes a workflow change for those that operate or manage these high tech machines. KLAS is embarking on a market study to give providers a look at real scan dose values and offer some “radiation dose best practices.” If you have a 64-slice CT scanner we would love your input in the research. Your feedback will help increase the safety of patients and the diagnostic confidence of physicians as they work to treat illness and save lives. CT dose study.

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