On January 9, 2015, the Joint Commission published significantly updated imaging standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory care centers. These new standards, which primarily impact facilities performing MRI, CT and NM/PET services, take effect on July 1, 2015 and mandate a broad range of quality and safety activities and practices. Joint Commission accredited facilities will be expected to comply with these new standards in addition to any other applicable state or federal regulations, or applicable ACR or IAC accreditation standards. The new standards consist of 25 new Elements of Performance (EP’s) that address the following general areas:
- Imaging equipment quality control and maintenance
- Medical physicist credentialing
- Technologist continuing education
- Patient radiation exposure
- Staff radiation exposure
- MRI safety
Among the numerous specific requirements in the new standards are the following:
- Annual measurement of CT radiation dose by a medical physicist
- Annual performance evaluation of CT, MRI, and NM/PET units by a medical physicist
- Performance of lead shielding designs by a qualified physicist upon equipment installation, upgrade or renovation
- Performance of radiation protection surveys by a qualified physicist after such activity
- Annual radiation dose optimization training for CT technologists
- Annual MRI safety training for MRI technologists
- Recording of patient CT radiation doses on every diagnostic CT study in the medical record and in the interpretive report
- Consideration of patient age and recent imaging exams when deciding on the most appropriate type of imaging exam
- Consideration of clinical indication, contrast administration, age, patient size and body habitus, and expected dose range in establishing CT protocols
- Periodic review of CT imaging protocols with the radiologist, technologist and medical physicist
- Compilation and analysis of patient CT dose incidents in comparison to dose benchmarks
- MRI access control, incident tracking, supervision and signage
West Physics has unique expertise and experience to help facilities comply with ALL of these new standards and we have developed a set of services for individual facilities as well as networks to efficiently and quickly address the standards. Whether you require assistance with only those new requirements that specifically require a medical physicist, or you prefer a turn-key integrated solution (to include all required staff training, policies and procedures, dose tracking program setup, etc.), West Physics is willing and able to meet your needs.
Ensure complete success during your next Joint Commission accreditation inspection by selecting a medical physics provider that not only has a reputation as the premier provider of medical physics services in the nation, but also has intimate knowledge of the new standards and how to effectively and efficiently comply with them. Our physicists look forward to helping you meet the new standards in a simple, stress-free and cost-effective manner.
Please contact us today for a no-obligation quote.
Whether to meet Joint Commission, ACR, IAC or State regulatory requirements, diagnostic imaging equipment requires periodic (in most cases annual) performance testing by a qualified physicist. West Physics provides these quality assurance services in a prompt, expert, and convenient manner. Our clients, located throughout the United States, know that they can count on our team of professionals to perform this testing expediently and to all applicable standards. Whether your needs are in MRI, CT, PET, SPECT, mammography, ultrasound, radiography, or fluoroscopy, we employ state-of-the-art test equipment and highly-trained graduate-degreed physicists to assure you total compliance and maximum value.
All of West Physics’ annual services include:
- on-site refresher training for technologists (with ASRT Category A credits available),
- quality control records review and consultation,
- a turn-key Quality Control / Policies and Procedures Binder (for ACR-accredited equipment),
- unlimited telephone consulting for as long as you remain a client, and
- flexible scheduling options, including weekend service (subject to availability).
We pride ourselves on not only ensuring your facility’s regulatory compliance, but also on making substantive improvements to your image quality. Our physicists are trained to communicate test results clearly and understandably, and work with your service personnel to resolve problems rapidly. This is why some of the most prestigious imaging centers and networks in the nation have chosen West Physics. Let us show you the West Physics difference!
Please contact us today for a no-obligation quote.
West Physics offers a full range of professional regulatory consulting services to represent clients in a wide range of situations. From serving as Radiation Safety Officers (RSO) for hospitals and clinics, to assisting health care facilities with obtaining or amending federal or state radioactive materials (RAM) licenses, West Physics has the depth of experience few if any firms can offer. Among our regulatory services are the following:
- RAM License Application and Amendment Preparation
- RSO services for nuclear medicine and all other types of RAM holders
- Representation of licensees before enforcement proceedings
- Nuclear medicine program startup and change consulting
- Nuclear medicine program quarterly audits
- Design of dosimetry monitoring programs
- Provision of standards-compliant Policies and Procedures
All of our regulatory consulting services are provided by a world-class staff of experts who have expertise and experience with a multitude of program types and scenarios. In particular, the staff is intimately familiar with the unique needs of emerging modalities such as positron emission tomography (PET). West Physics’ President & Chief Medical Physicist, Dr. Geoffrey West, has special expertise in the regulatory consulting arena due to his status as a former nuclear materials inspector for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as to his possession of board certifications in both health physics and medical physics. West Physics has provided highly successful RSO services for a number of large-scale RAM operations and our staff specializes in unique situations and complex needs.
Please contact us today to discuss your specific needs.
We are proud to offer x-ray shielding design and verification services for diagnostic radiology facilities – for everything from single rooms to entire radiology wings with multiple modalities, including nuclear medicine. Whether you are pursuing new construction or considering modifications or new equipment installations, West Physics can support you with expert advice and prompt turn-around.
All of our x-ray radiation shielding designs are performed by fully-licensed, board-certified health physicists and will meet the latest industry standards, as well as the specific requirements of the country, state and municipality in which your facility is located. West Physics tracks these regulatory requirements and will ensure that your shielding design and/or verification meet them perfectly. For patient and worker safety as well as for liability protection, we understand that our clients must have total confidence in the accuracy and reliability of such an important radiation protection measure – West Physics provides that confidence with experience and expertise.
Our shielding verifications (aka shielding integrity surveys or radiation protection surveys) are comprehensive and meticulous, ensuring our clients that their shielding was installed correctly and according to plan. Some of the most respected medical institutions in the world have counted on West Physics for this important service and we are proud to offer it worldwide.
Here are some key features of our Shielding Design and Verification services:
- We understand the regulatory requirements for shielding in every jurisdiction and can provide expert consultation to our clients on meeting these requirements
- We are experienced at providing shielding services globally
- We offer prompt turnaround and expedited service on demand
- We work directly with planners, architects, and/or contractors to advise on shielding, layout, and construction options
- We have experienced technologists on staff to advise on floor plans, if requested
- Our prices are fair and our results are guaranteed
If you have questions about these services or about shielding requirements in your particular area, or if you would like a no-obligation quote, please contact us today.