Quality initiatives: Establishing an interventional radiology patient radiation safety program

Radiographics. 2012 Jan-Feb;32(1):277-87. doi: 10.1148/rg.321115002. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


The Interventional Radiology Patient Radiation Safety Program was created to better educate patients who are scheduled to undergo high-dose interventional radiologic procedures about the risks of radiation, better monitor the delivered doses, and reduce the risk for deterministic effects. The program combines preprocedure evaluation and counseling, intraprocedure monitoring, and postprocedure documentation and counseling with the guidelines of the National Cancer Institute and the Society of Interventional Radiology. Between July 2009, when the program was implemented, and September 2010, over 3500 interventional radiologic procedures were monitored and documented, and 63 procedures with an adjusted cumulative dose of more than 3 Gy were identified and further analyzed; four procedures were found to be outside the control limits. Additional review of these four procedures resulted in practice modifications. Anecdotal feedback from physician assistants and attending physicians indicated that the program had another positive effect: Patients who required postprocedure counseling about the potential for radiation-induced skin injuries were no longer surprised by this information. Implementation of this program is straightforward, requires little infrastructure and few resources, and may be applied in most interventional radiology practices. Supplemental material available at http://radiographics.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/rg.321115002/-/DC1.

MeSH terms

  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiation Protection / standards
  • Radiation Protection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Radiography, Interventional
  • Safety Management / statistics & numerical data*
  • Safety Management / trends
  • Texas