The benefit of ionizing radiation to the practice of medicine is huge. Unfortunately, however, the use of ionizing radiation for medical diagnosis also carries risks to both the patient and the providers. For that reason, expert oversight of a comprehensive radiation safety program is essential. NPC consultants are experts at setting up, maintaining, and overseeing medical radiation safety programs for hospitals, clinics, veterinary facilities, dental practices, and so on.
Radiation generating equipment is regulated by state agencies. Mammography equipment is regulated by state agencies and the US Food and Drug Administration and is also controlled by accrediting bodies such as the American College of Radiology. The volumes of state and federal regulations and accreditation standards can be overwhelming. That’s why NPC consultants study the regulations carefully. We keep informed of revisions in the regulations, prevalent interpretations of the regulations, and issues that are currently under the inspectors’ “microscopes.” NPC consultants do whatever it takes to keep your facility in compliance.
Certified Radiation Expert Services (Ohio regulatory Requirement)
The state of Ohio Department of Health requires all hospitals in the state to retain the services of a Certified Radiation Expert for each of the following categories of radiation-generating equipment: mammography, diagnostic other than mammography, and radiation therapy. The CRE must perform as a member of the hospital’s Quality Assurance Committee, provide written quarterly reports, and audit the hospital’s quality control program annually. NPC consultants will provide all the required services and attend your QA/Radiation Safety Committee meetings.
Equipment QC and Acceptance Testing
One of the most essential functions of a diagnostic medical physicist is to assure proper functioning of imaging equipment to assure optimum image quality and minimum radiation exposure to both the patient and the staff. NPC’s highly qualified consultants are experts in radiographic, fluoroscopic, CT, mammography, and MRI imaging modalities. NPC can develop and implement an effective QC testing program for all your imaging equipment.
Mammography QC, and MQSA Compliance
NPC’s medical physics experts are fully qualified and highly experienced in providing all the QC, regulatory, accreditation, and QC oversight requirements for film-screen or full field digital mammography. We also provide full support for accredited stereotactic breast biopsy programs. In addition, the state of Ohio regulations now require full ACR-style testing of all stereotactic unit in the state, whether or not they are accredited. NPC provides it all.
NPC consultants are also qualified to survey digital breast tomosynthesis unit after receiving the necessary 8 hours of training required by the FDA.
CT QC and Accreditation Support
All freestanding imaging centers who offer CT services have had to be accredited by one of three accrediting bodies by January 1, 2012 in order to procure Medicare reimbursement. And all states require annual radiation dosimetry and image quality tests to be performed by a physicist. Patient radiation dose is currently a hot topic after all the studies that show the high radiation dose the population receives annually from CT scans. States such as Ohio require CT facilities to have an ALARA program, developed in cooperation with a physicist, to be sure patients receive the lowest dose possible while assuring diagnostic quality imaging. NPC experts can provide all necessary testing and support to accomplish all these objectives.
MRI QC and Accreditation Support
Just as with CT, all freestanding imaging centers who offer MRI services will have to be accredited by one of three accrediting bodies by January 1, 2012 in order to procure Medicare reimbursement. Accreditation also tells your patients and potential patients that you care about quality. The MRI accreditation programs require the assistance of a medical physicist to oversee the quality control program and perform annual QC surveys. NPC’s MRI experts are ready to assist. In addition we can help you through the accreditation application process. Our experts will perform phantom scans, assist with the application, establish your QC program and walk through the accreditation process with you.
Ultrasound QC and Accreditation Support
NPC can help you comply with the latest ACR requirements for ultrasound QC. This involves an annual survey by the medical physicist and oversight of technologist QC and maintenance programs.
Cone Beam CT QC and Regulatory Compliance
Effective July 1, 2014, the Ohio Department of Health is requiring all facilities who use cone-beam CT scanners to establish a QC program under the direction of a medical physicist. This program must be written an must include annual surveys by the medical physicist involving assessment of image quality and patient dose. NPC physicists are qualified and ready to perform these services.
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