Radiation dose tracking has always been an important aspect of radiology but with the Joint Commission imposing stricter regulations for Computed Tomography (CT), dose documentation is more important than ever.
UW Radiology is responding to this heightened level of scrutiny by adopting GE Healthcare’s DoseWatch software, a web-based dose monitoring system that can track and analyze patient radiation doses in both clinical and research settings. The software is available as ‘research in kind’ under the Combined Research Agreement with GE Healthcare, headed by Principal Investigator Tim Szczykutowicz, Ph.D.
UW Radiology’s previous dose-tracking software was developed in-house by Dr. Szczykutowicz. According to Dr. Szczykutowicz, two major advantages of DoseWatch over his software are improved quality control tools and the wealth of data that is now available to researchers and clinicians. Researchers will have a large library of scans to perform aggregate dose measurements, a key step in the preliminary stages of a study.
Due to the strong relationship with GE, UW Radiology can offer DoseWatch to our Community partners at a significant cost savings. Furthermore, UW Radiology can analyze imaging data and generate reports for locations that utilize UW medical physics support.
While implementation of DoseWatch has been limited to CT so far, there are intentions to introduce other areas such as Interventional Radiology and the Heart and Vascular Procedure Center (Catheter Lab). While the Joint Commission hasn’t yet introduced new regulations on other modalities, increased scrutiny of fluoroscopy may be on the horizon, according to Dr. Szczykutowicz.