Radiation Safety – RIA's Commitment to You
Radiology Imaging Associates (RIA) is committed to the safe use of medical imaging equipment, and to the goal of keeping radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). We employ many measures to ensure that radiation testing is used appropriately, and to minimize the exposure necessary to produce diagnostic quality images. You should talk to your doctor and to an RIA radiologist about the necessity for radiological testing to ensure that you understand the expected benefits, and to avoid unnecessary testing. When testing is needed, be assured that RIA does keep exposure to a minimum.
RIA continually reviews its policies and verifies that its equipment is functioning per specification of the manufacturer and in accordance with professional best practices. In our facilities, imaging equipment is state-of-the-art and is maintained, operated and regulated to ensure safety. We survey equipment performance routinely to ensure proper operating conditions. This includes internal quality assurance performance monitoring and manufacturer maintenance inspections and preventative maintenance. In addition, radiation physicists perform independent evaluations of all operating parameters. RIA's CT scanners utilize technological features such as auto dose control (Intellibeam Technology and Smart MA) that measure patient body composition and minimize the exposure for optimal imaging of the specific body part and exam.
The technologists that operate the equipment and the physicians that supervise and interpret the imaging are specifically trained as imaging professionals. The radiologists are physicians Board Certified by the American College of Radiology, and are licensed by the State to provide safe and effective imaging services. The technologists are graduates of accredited allied health training programs and are registered by there credentialing boards and licensed by the State.
Policies and procedures are established to ensure appropriate utilization and control dose. Scanning protocols specifically designed for pediatric patients are also utilized to prevent undue exposure to the patients that are most susceptible to effects of radiation. To ensure that children are exposed to the least amount of radiation possible, x-ray testing should only be used when other alternative imaging tests are not appropriate and when there is an expected clear benefit. The amount of radiation used should be based on the size of the child, only the indicated area should be imaged, and multiple scans should be avoided. Our staff works to help children relax during the testing so repeat imaging is minimized. The Image Gently program of the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Pediatric Imaging has great information for parents on the efforts RIA and others are taking to protect children - http://www.pedrad.org/associations/5364/ig/.
RIA is pleased to have introduced bismuth shielding for chest CT exams for our female patients. Literature and our direct experience shows that use of this specialized material can further reduce exposure to breast tissue during chest CT. In line with our commitment to ensure and demonstrate program quality, RIA participates with the voluntary quality assurance programs of the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR is the professional society that leads with the development of professional standards and education. Our ACR accreditation is another sign of our commitment to safety and quality. Visit the ACR patient education website www.radiologyinfo.org for more information.