In October 2015 we published a blog post with the news about CMS covering low-dose CT lung cancer screenings. This current blog post discusses the importance of ensuring and maintaining the quality of your CT machine as well as protecting your accreditation.
Low-dose computed tomography (CT) is the type of test recommended for lung cancer screening in people who have a high risk of developing this type of cancer but do not present signs or symptoms. GE Reports indicates, “Catching lung cancer with low-dose CT helps drop lung cancer deaths by 20 percent in high risk individuals.” Low-dose CT images the body in virtual slices using X-rays that are highly detailed and can show early-stage lung cancers the size of a grain of rice, too small to be detected by a traditional X-ray. According to research, not only does this type of test provide early detection, the dosage level administers approximately five times less radiation than a traditional CT scan.
As more people take advantage of the low-dose CT screening for lung cancer, you may find your CT machine in higher demand. While you are enjoying a rise in productivity, keep in mind the importance of accuracy and uniformity of your scans. Routine maintenance and calibration, including checks by a medical physicist, are critical to provide high quality images.
RadSite Helps Your Facility Provide High Quality Screenings
Not only can RadSite can help you with accreditation, we can provide guidance on best practices including quality checks and the types of tests you need to run on your machine. And RadSite can save you money. We can accredit your CT machine, with no extra fees for lung-specific accreditation due to the fact that RadSite’s pricing is non-modular, unlike other accreditation programs. For example, if you are accredited for general CT and would also like to add low-dose lung CT accreditation, you will need to pay an additional fee. In contrast, RadSite’s all-inclusive low price of $2,400 covers all CT modules, including low-dose lung CT, as long as you submit clinical image samples that represent the types of exams you will be performing.
Proper equipment calibration and maintenance are some of the most critical components of making sure your imaging systems are safe and produce quality images. Medical physicists are extremely important players in this arena, bridging the gap between technologists and physicians to make sure diagnostic imaging equipment is functioning optimally. In a recorded webinar, RadSite’s Chief Physics Officer, Phillip W. Patton, PhD, CHP, DABR, DABSNM, reviews basic components of physics testing for advanced diagnostic imaging (ADI) systems. Patton highlights key differences in state requirements for physicists and explains why it is important to hire a qualified medical physicist for your physics testing when applying for RadSite Accreditation.
Final Thoughts | Providing High Quality Low-Dose CT Scans
With any screening, it is important to have the exam done on quality equipment at an accredited facility. With low-dose lung CT exams now being covered by CMS, RadSite can help you evaluate your CT imaging systems and certify they are operating at the optimal level of performance, so you can provide quality care for your patients.