On July 1, 2015, the Joint Commission implemented their long-awaited new imaging standards. The standards, consisting of 25 new or revised Elements of Performance (EP’s), contain a multitude of new requirements that affect Joint Commission accredited facilities performing MRI, CT or NM/PET services. Specifically, the new standards address the following areas: annual equipment physics testing, ongoing equipment quality control, medical physicist qualifications, technologist training, x-ray shielding design and verification, personnel dosimetry (ALARA) review, patient dose incident tracking and analysis, CT protocol documentation and review, and MRI safety.
West Physics has been monitoring the Joint Commission standards development process since late 2012 and is pleased to have a full suite of services that help facilities meet all of the new standards. Please click here for more information or contact a West Physics sales representative for more information. A link to the new standards is available here. Note that the linked standards are for hospitals and critical access hospitals, but identical standards also apply to accredited ambulatory care organizations.
On May 15, 2014, the Joint Commission announced a delay in the implementation of their imaging standards changes affecting MRI, CT and NM/PET. As a result, the Joint Commission now states that the projected implementation date for the new standards will be in July 2015 and that additional standards updates that were planned for 2015 will be incorporated into the standards at that time. A link to the Joint Commission announcement is available here: http://www.jointcommission.org/prepublication_diagnostic_imaging_services_requirements. West Physics maintains close contact with the JC staff to ensure that our customers have the most up-to-date information and we will be using the additional time available to further prepare and enhance our JC-related service offerings.
The Joint Commission has released a set of prepublication standards that contain new and revised requirements addressing risks associated with diagnostic imaging for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory care organizations that provide diagnostic imaging services. These standards focus on CT, MRI, and NM/PET and affect a broad range of areas, including staff credentialing, staff training, equipment quality assurance, equipment maintenance, and more. Please click here to see the Joint Commission’s own announcement.
Radiology Management, the official journal of the Association of Healthcare Radiology Administrators, has published an article by West Physics’ CEO, Dr. Geoffrey West, on the topic of preparing for an ACR accreditation inspection. This article has valuable information to help facilities understand the inspection process and also to help them prepare properly for this important event. Click here to read the full article as seen in Radiology Management magazine.