Vienna – 6th March 2014 – GE Healthcare, a unit of GE (NYSE: GE), today announced the launch of its ‘Dose Blueprint’ in Europe at European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, a programmatic approach to lowering dose across the entirety of a hospital. The launch coincides with the recently published European Directive which includes specific measures regarding the use of radiation for medical treatments and diagnostics.
Whilst regulation of imaging and therapy devices employing ionizing radiation has existed since the mid-20th century, the current Directive goes further than ever. It prescribes measures that healthcare organizations in member states must implement by February 2018.
Chapter 7 of the EC Directive (Articles 55 to 61) addresses measures that Member States must take in respect to minimizing dose from medical radiation to patients and workers. These include the justification of the use of radiation; optimization of dose; responsibilities, procedures and training requirements for operators, and the use and maintenance of the appropriate equipment.
True to its name, the GE Dose Blueprint framework was developed using insights from customers and other leading organizations to help hospitals identify the information they need to proactively improve the way they manage radiation across their enterprise. A key part of the Blueprint is a benchmark analysis, which looks at three critical areas that directly impact dose performance and management: Leadership, Practices, and Technology. With this data, institutions can start to develop their own tailored and comprehensive radiation dose management strategy.
Antoine Jomier, Dose General Manager, GE Healthcare Services Europe, explained: “Radiologists and hospital directors at ECR know they need to get to grips with the implications of this new EU legislation. Many are already taking this responsibility very seriously, employing very effective low dose technologies, but it’s fair to say that standards of dose optimization and monitoring capabilities vary significantly from one hospital and certainly one country to the next.
“It can be daunting when you consider the whole host of low dose technologies out there. How can hospitals be sure they are meeting the criteria set by EU? That’s where the Blueprint is designed to help. What we want to emphasize is that it’s about resources, training and culture, not just technology. We start by helping to assess a hospital’s current dose performance using a range of metrics, looking at technology but also people, structures and processes, and then use that knowledge to develop a customized plan that drives improvement in effective dose management.”
Professor Casselman, Chairman of Radiology at St John’s Hospital in Bruges, Belgium explained that for him the responsibility of effective dose management goes beyond adhering to legislation: “For me it’s about ethics. If we are giving patients a higher dose than is needed we are not doing our jobs properly” says Professor Casselman, who has held his current role since 2004 at St John’s Hospital, one of the largest in Belgium, which last year began using ‘DoseWatch’, GE’s dose management system.
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