We customize CT exams for each patient to achieve high image quality for accurate diagnosis with the lowest possible radiation dose.
For the past three decades, Mass General has been at the forefront of research into reducing radiation exposure from radiology exams. We are a leader in developing advanced dose-reduction technologies, and we have implemented radiation dose monitoring systems to track patient doses from all CT exams.
At Mass General Imaging, radiation dose for CT scans are typically 10% to 30% below the national average.
How We Minimize Radiation Dose
- Intelligent Decision Support - Our scheduling system contains "decision support" intelligence that helps identify imaging options. Whenever clinically appropriate, we use radiation-free alternatives, such as ultrasound and MRI. The decision support system asks referring doctors to answer questions about their patients, provides alternatives and even blocks the booking of inappropriate exams.
- Duplication Prevention - Our scheduling system identifies if a patient recently had a similar exam or when a similar exam is already scheduled.
- Safety Checks - We follow strict procedures for checking and re-checking patient information and exam type. Repeating these steps can prevent a person from receiving an unnecessary or wrong exam.
- Exam Customization - We customize CT exams for each patient based on weight, age, medical history and the body part to be scanned. We use the lowest amount of radiation to achieve high-quality images for accurate diagnosis.
- Protocols Optimization - Teams of radiologists, physicists and CT technologists continually review and refine our CT exam protocols, looking for opportunities to reduce radiation while making sure that image quality remains high. We share our low-dose protocols with radiologists and hospitals around the world.
- State-of-the-Art Equipment - We are constantly updating our CT systems with the newest software and hardware to further improve image quality at lower radiation levels. In many cases, we work with the manufacturers to develop the necessary technology.
- CT Quality Assurance Team – On-site engineers maintain our CT scanners in top condition. A team of ABR-certified physicists monitor all CT systems and ensure that the imaging quality and radiation are optimal for all CT protocols. A dedicated CT quality assurance manager and specialist ensure rigorous staff training and correct scanner protocol set-up and implementation.