Feature | December 20, 2013

New Joint Commission Rules For Imaging Announced

New Joint Commission rules for imaging announced

Following public comment received in the fall of 2013, The Joint Commission has released new accreditation standards for diagnostic imaging services. Nearly all of these new standard elements of performance (EP) are slated to become effective in a half-year.

The new TJC accreditation requirements are catching up with industry best practice standards. Accredited providers, if they are not already doing so, will need to begin the following by July 1, 2014:

  • Actively managing risks in the MRI environment, including ferromagnetic materials (inside and outside of patients), emergent patients, and acoustic noise. 
  • Providing access controls, direct supervision, and warnings about hazards in the MRI environment. 
  • Keep staff ionizing radiation exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) and review exposure at least quarterly. 
  • Develop a QC plan for all imaging modalities which includes frequency of evaluation. 
  • For CT, verify accuracy of system displayed dose at least annually.
  • Annual medical physicist evaluations of CT, PET, nuclear camera and MRI scanners (and clinical displays). 
  • For new equipment installations, medical physicist to design, and provide post-installation testing of ionizing radiation shielding.
  • Observe specific educational / credential requirements for medical physicists serving CT scanners.
  • Ongoing annual safety training for CT and MRI technologists.
  • Verify dose for any isotope administered for a nuclear medicine exam.
  • Record CT dose on the study (for CT scanners that have the capability of reporting dose).   
  • For CT, follow industry standards of practice for dose reduction.
  • For CT, review imaging protocols periodically for adherence to industry standards.
  • Collect information on MRI adverse events, including burns, projectile events, and screening oversights when ferromagnetic objects were permitted into the MRI scanner room.
  • Review CT radiation dose data and compare with industry benchmarks. 
  • The one new EP with a delayed implementation date is a call for credentialing of technologists performing CT exams:
  • By July 1, 2015, Technologists performing CT exams will need to be registered and certified by ARRT or NMTCB 
  • Much of the new standards follow closely the field review draft document published earlier this year. 

It is highly recommended that Joint Commission accredited providers of any imaging services review the new standards themselves. The new EPs for diagnostic imaging are available in PDF format from the Joint Commission's website. 

Many of the elements of TJC's updated imaging standards are simply requiring elements that have been a part of existing best practices, or, as with the case with CT dose recording, are state requirements. Many forward-looking imaging providers are expected to find that their existing practices already comply with the new TJC standards, or require only very modest modifications. Please closely review your existing practices against the new EPs to help assure compliance with the new expectations.

Sources within The Joint Commission have indicated that these diagnostic imaging standards represent a first installment, which will be followed by standards updates that will address interventional imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy.

For more information: www.jointcommission.org

Related Content

Siemens Healthineers, Somatom Drive CT system, FDA clearance
Technology | Computed Tomography (CT)| August 30, 2016
Siemens Healthineers announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the Somatom Drive computed...
atomic bombs, radiation exposure, long-term health effects, Bertrand Jordan, study
News | Radiation Dose Management| August 19, 2016
The detonation of atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 resulted in horrific...
Cath lab radiation dose, dose reduction, cath lab staff radiation dose
Feature | Radiation Dose Management| August 09, 2016 | Dave Fornell
In the past few years, concern has skyrocketed from interventional cardiologists and cath lab staff over radiation do
CT angiography, CTA, coronary CT, cardiac CT, SCCT, society of cardiovascular computed tomography, cardiac imaging
Feature | CT Angiography (CTA)| August 03, 2016 | Dave Fornell
The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) annual meeting offers an in-depth review of all aspects of c
CT angiography, CTA, Medicare population, Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study, Neiman HPI
News | CT Angiography (CTA)| August 02, 2016
According to a new study, the last 13 years have seen substantial growth in the ordering of computed tomography...
CMS, Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating, national distribution, quailty of care
News | Business| July 26, 2016
July 25, 2016 — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it expects to launch its new Over
UltraSPECT, Xpress3.Cardiac, nuclear imaging, RWJPE, New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Physician Enterprise
News | SPECT Imaging| July 25, 2016
UltraSPECT Inc. announced recently that Robert Wood Johnson Physician Enterprise (RWJPE), a multi-specialty, community-...
Siemens Healthineers, Enterprise Services, ES, U.S. launch
Technology | Cardiac Imaging| July 19, 2016
July 19, 2016 — Siemens Healthineers recently introduced an expanded Services portfolio, known as Enterprise Services
Sponsored Content | Webinar | July 19, 2016
This webinar will explain the prevalence of MRI motion artifacts, outline the related financial and time burdens asso
Overlay Init