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

Technology | Radiation Dose Management| January 19, 2017
Zetta Medical Technologies announced the release of Zia, an iterative reconstruction solution that enables the use of...
diagnostic low-dose radiation exposure, radiological imaging dose, radiophobia, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, ALARA, LNTH
News | Radiation Dose Management| January 18, 2017
In an article published in the January 2017 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, researchers assert that exposure...
stress, brain activity, cardiovascular risk, PET-CT, MGH, ISSMS, The Lancet study
News | Cardiac Diagnostics| January 18, 2017
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISSMS) investigators...
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers| January 17, 2017
NorthStar Medical Technologies LLC has received additional matching funds from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National...
PET/CT, atherosclerotic plaque detection, Stanford University

Application of dual-modality optical and PET/CT activity-based probe in experimental carotid inflammation model. Coronal noninvasive PET/CT scans of (A) healthy and (B) diseased mice with and without ligated carotid arteries respectively. Inset images show optical ex vivo florescence imagining of (A) healthy and (B) diseased carotid arteries.  PET/CT and optical images courtesy of Xiaowei Ma, Toshinobu Saito and Nimali Withana.

News | PET-CT| November 01, 2016
Researchers at Stanford University have demonstrated for the first time the use of a dual optical and positron emission...
GE Healthcare, Revolution CT, Whisper Drive, RSNA 2016, cardiac imaging
News | CT Angiography (CTA)| October 31, 2016
At the 2016 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA 2016), GE Healthcare will introduce the...
NAS report, National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine, Mo-99 production, highly enriched uranium, HEU, SNMMI
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers| October 28, 2016
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) have released a report on the state of molybdenum-...
Siemens Healthineers, Symbia Intevo SPECT/CT system, xSPECT Quant, RSNA 2016
Technology | SPECT-CT| October 18, 2016
At the 2016 annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA 2016), Siemens Healthineers will showcase...
Lantheus, flurpiridaz F-18, myocardial perfusion imaging, MPI, cardiac stress testing, ASNC 2016
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers| October 17, 2016
Lantheus Holdings Inc. announced in late September that sub-analysis data from the first Phase 3 study of flurpiridaz F...
Toshiba CT, picking a CT scanner, choosing a CT scanner, CT 101, what to look for in CT scanners, Aquilion ONE ViSION

The Toshiba Aquilion One Vision system is among the new generation of CT systems on the market that offers several dose lowering technologies and a hardware/software combination to enhance image quality over previous-generation scanners.

Feature | CT Angiography (CTA)| October 14, 2016 | Dave Fornell
As hospitals begin replacing their first-generation 64-slice computed tomography (CT) scanners after a decade of use,
Overlay Init