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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Opinion: Will The Joint Commission’s New Standards Keep You Safe from Unnecessary Medical Imaging? | mHealthWatch

Opinion: Will The Joint Commission’s New Standards Keep You Safe from Unnecessary Medical Imaging? | mHealthWatch.

Mature doctor talking to his patient who is about to receive an MRI Scan.  [url=][img][/img][/url]

Mature doctor talking to his patient who is about to receive an MRI Scan.url=][img][/img][/url]

From the 14 July 2015 mHealth post

The following is a guest contributed post by Karen Holzberger, Vice President and General Manager for Diagnostics at Nuance.

The Joint Commission standards for diagnostic imaging, which recently went into effect, are designed to help prevent duplicate and unnecessary medical imaging of patients, and reduce potentially harmful exposure to radiation when patients need CT scans, MRI or a combination of these and other diagnostic tests. Beginning July 1, 2015, these standards require protocols, documentation and data collection, staff education and other criteria that raise the bar for quality and safety at ambulatory imaging sites, critical access hospitals and accredited hospitals.  What do these standards really mean to the patient?

The new imaging standards focus primarily on the radiation dose index. There are a number of uncertainties tied to the long-term impact of imaging on patients, but researchers agree it impact patients differently depending upon sensitivities to radiation, age, body parts being tested, absorption rates and other factors and these are still being studied. In the meantime, to prevent undue risk, The Joint Commission has put a stake in the ground with these specific standards to help improve patient safety.  The Joint Commission joins other accredited healthcare organizations, such as the American College of Radiology (ACR) and other clinical associations that are releasing new quality-focused recommendations,enhanced education tools and technologies to make it easier for healthcare teams to keep you safe from unintended risks while you receive diagnostic imaging that could shed light on serious health conditions.

July 17, 2015 Posted by | health care | , , , , , | Leave a comment

More information does not equal better care

From the 1 November 2012 article at Medical News Today

…I have found that this concept is hard for non-healthcare people to really grasp – that a less aggressive testing approach knowingly misses disease, but makes no difference in the overall prospects of the patient. It is crucial that the U.S. culture fights the prevailing scare tactics of the diagnostics industry, or we’ll never lower the rate of overtesting. Any administrative tricks to lower testing rates will be subverted by both physicians and patients who assume more tests equal better care unless the underlying culture and conventional beliefs are changed.

The change required is deeper than administrative rules. It has to come from a more humble attitude on the part of doctors, patients, employers, and insurers that just because a patient could be labeled as having a disease, there is nothing to be gained by doing anything about it. More information does not equal better care.

Our American culture proclaims, “Just Do It.” To reclaim resources from the healthcare industry and return them to the general economy, we must proclaim, “Don’t just do something for the sake of doing something, stand there.”..


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November 2, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , , | Leave a comment


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