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West Physics
3825 Paces Walk SE
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Atlanta, GA 30339

770-435-9186 • 1-866-275-WEST (9378) • FAX 770-599-2333

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News & Events

Joint Commission Accreditation – 2015

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.

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Joint Commission Accreditation

On June 25, 2018, The Joint Commission published updated imaging standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and office-based surgery centers providing fluoroscopy services. Five new standards, which impact facilities performing general and interventional fluoroscopy services, took effect on January 1, 2019 in addition to two more standards that were revised on July 1, 2018, 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 two revised 2018 Elements of Performance (EPs) address the Environment of Care (EC) area. These are:

  • EC.02.02.01 – Organization manages risks related to hazardous materials and waste
    • EP 7. The organization minimizes risks associated with the selection and use of hazardous energy sources, including x-ray equipment. This EP now includes shielding for fluoroscopy.
    • EP 17. The results of staff dosimetry monitoring are reviewed at least quarterly by the radiation safety officer, a diagnostic medical physicist, or a health physicist. This EP now includes dosimetry from fluoroscopy services.

The five new 2019 Elements of Performance (EPs) that came into effect January 1, 2019 are:

  • EC.02.04.03 – Organization inspects, tests, and maintains medical equipment
    • EP 34. A diagnostic medical physicist conducts an annual performance evaluation of fluoroscopic imaging equipment.
  • HR.01.05.03 – Staff participate in ongoing education and training
    • EP 15. Accredited organization verifies and documents that individuals (including physicians, non-physicians, and ancillary personnel) who use fluoroscopic equipment participate in ongoing annual radiation safety education.
  • PC.01.02.15 – Organization provides for diagnostic testing
    • EP 13. The accredited organization ensures the cumulative-air kerma or kerma area product is documented in a retrievable format, or if the equipment is incapable of recording those metrics, fluoroscopy time and number of images.
  • PC.02.01.01 – Organization provides care, treatment, and services for each patient
    • EP 30. The accredited organization identifies radiation exposure and skin dose threshold levels.
  • PI.02.01.01 – Organization complies and analyzes data
    • EP 20. The accredited organization reviews and analyzes instances where the radiation exposure and skin threshold levels identified by the organization are exceeded.

Additionally, if a facility has not previously been required to appoint a Radiation Safety Officer, the following new EP in the Leadership (LD) category also applies:

  • LD.04.01.05 – Organization effectively manages its programs. services, or sites
    • EP 25. The organization designates an individual to serve as the radiation safety officer, who is responsible for making certain that radiologic services are provided in accordance with law, regulation, and organizational policy.

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 equipment testing, staff training, establishing dose thresholds, RSO services, etc.), West Physics is capable of meeting your needs.

Ensure complete success during your next Joint Commission accreditation survey by selecting a medical and health physics provider that not only has a reputation as the premier provider of medical and health 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.

« Click Here for 2015 Standards

ACR Accreditation

West Physics is the premier solutions provider for facilities wishing to pursue the prestigious American College of Radiology (ACR) or Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) accreditations. We can help you with MRI, CT, PET, PET/CT, SPECT, mammography, and ultrasound accreditations. Our visits include phantom scanning (and clinical scanning for MRI if requested), staff training, and assistance throughout the entire process. Our staff has unparalleled training and experience in helping clients successfully apply for and properly maintain their ACR and IAC accreditations.

In the MRI arena, whether you have a 0.2T open system or a 3.0T high-field, our physicists DO NOT GIVE UP on you or your magnet. Even after well over 1,000 accreditations, we have a 99.8% success rate in getting our client’s machines to pass the process. This is why we are one of the only physics service providers in existence to offer a full guarantee on our services and your results. Click here for more information on our exceptional suite of ACR MRI services.

In the CT space, our physicists understand the complex intricacies of proper ACR application preparation as well as the scanning of the ACR phantom. For IAC accreditations, West Physics assisted in the accreditation of one of the very first IAC CT pilot sites in 2007 and we have a very mature technical and administrative assistance package. We employ the very finest Swedish-made (Unfors) CT dosimetry testing equipment to ensure that the accuracy of your CT radiation dose calculations are beyond question. With West Physics, you get the highest possible level of expertise and service, provided at an attractive price.

For PET (or PET/CT) and SPECT accreditation, West Physics was among the very first consulting firms to develop expertise in the ACR process, and we also can provide application assistance for IAC Nuclear/PET accreditation applications. And, of course, in mammography, you can rest assured that your accreditation and ongoing support will be provided by a board-certified and FDA-approved senior medical physicist.

Simply put, no other medical physics consulting firm in existence has both the breadth and depth to support your ACR and IAC accreditation needs. Let us show you why even major equipment vendors recommend West Physics to their customers for ACR and IAC services – they know it will be done right the very first time.

Please contact us today for a no-obligation quote.

IAC Accreditation

If your facility chooses to pursue accreditation for its MRI, CT or Nuclear Medicine program through the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC), West Physics can help expedite and ease the process. We have assisted more clients in achieving successful IAC accreditation than any other medical physics firm in the world, and we were the very first physics company to achieve IAC accreditation for a cone-beam CT scanner.

IAC accreditation has unique challenges and complexities and our clients count on us to help walk them through the process step-by-step. Our dedicated IAC administrative consultant works hand in hand with your facility personnel, and in concert with your West Physics medical physicist, to complete each element of the lengthy application process.

West Physics has a long history working with the IAC staff to hone our survey procedures, written materials, and application assistance so that we can move you through the process quickly and efficiently – no wasted time, no major hit to your organization’s productivity, and no mistakes.

Don’t go it alone or use a physicist that just does a survey and leaves the rest to you.

Please contact us today for a no-obligation quote.