In late June, GE Healthcare unveiled the GE Blueprint for low dose, a comprehensive program that helps healthcare providers integrate CT technologies, education and process improvements, and data analysis to reduce patient radiation dose from Computed Tomography (CT) by up to 50 percent.
GE Healthcare is committing to work with health systems and physicians to develop system-specific solutions – comprehensive “blueprints” that can help providers achieve low-dose, high-definition diagnostic capabilities. The program is designed to help health systems nationwide positively impact patient safety.
GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt and North Shore-LIJ Health System President and CEO Michael Dowling unveiled the GE Blueprint for low dose at North Shore-LIJ’s Center for Advanced Medicine. Following the model set by North Shore-LIJ, GE plans to engage with leading health systems across the U.S. – representing 3,500 hospitals with 70% of all hospital admissions nationally – to share the GE Blueprint for low dose.
Traditionally in CT high-image quality often required greater patient exposure to diagnostic radiation. Lower dose levels for the patient usually meant lower image clarity. Partnering with leading healthcare providers, GE is changing the equation. With GE’s Veo technology, for instance, physicians have achieved profoundly clear chest CT images with less than 1 millisievert (mSv) of dose – some with radiation dose levels comparable to chest X-rays. For perspective, traditional chest CT scans can expose patients to anywhere from 5-10 mSv of radiation dose, and natural background radiation exposes the average American to around 3 mSv per year.†
North Shore-LIJ President and CEO Michael Dowling said, “Maintaining the lowest possible radiation dose in imaging while delivering high quality diagnostics is a top priority. We are thrilled to collaborate with GE Healthcare through this important, impactful program and to build upon our leadership in dose management and North Shore-LIJ’s commitment to ensuring the utmost in safety and care for our patients.”
Leveraging a team of “Low Dose Architects,” GE Blueprint helps health systems like North Shore-LIJ develop system-specific, end-to-end dose management programs, including staff education, process improvements, equipment assessments and CT technologies that can enable low-dose, high-definition imaging. For more information, visit www.gehealthcare.com/GEBlueprint.
North Shore-LIJ, the largest healthcare provider in the New York City region and a recipient of the National Quality Forum’s 2010 National Quality Healthcare Award, has long been a leader in providing patient-friendly medical imaging through the use of cutting-edge medical technologies. After reviewing all imaging equipment in 2010 and instituting a three year plan to replace or upgrade more than $50 million in equipment, North Shore-LIJ achieved system-wide American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation and 100 percent compliance with ACR’s “Image Wisely” and “Image Gently” pledges, started manually tracking CT patient exposure levels system-wide, and introduced a mandatory credentialing requirement for non-radiologists using medical radiation.
A year later, in August 2011, The Joint Commission issued a Sentinel Event Alert about the radiation risks of diagnostic imaging.
“By installing new imaging technology that uses lower radiation doses for CT scans, the North Shore-LIJ Health System is addressing an important factor that can contribute to excess radiation dosing,” said Mark R. Chassin, MD, president of The Joint Commission.