GE, North Shore-LIJ partner to halve CT radiation
At North Shore-LIJ Health System on Thursday, GE Healthcare launched its GE Blueprint for low dose, which aims to help providers integrate technology, data analysis and process improvements to reduce patient radiation dose from computed tomography (CT) by as much as 50 percent.
GE officials say these comprehensive "blueprints," custom-tailored for specific hospitals, 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 today at North Shore-LIJ's Center for Advanced Medicine. Following the model set by North Shore-LIJ, GE plans to engage with health systems across the U.S. – representing 3,500 hospitals with 70 percent of all hospital admissions nationally – to share the GE Blueprint for low dose.
[See also: CT scans up, hospital admissions down, study says.]
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.
GE Healthcare has long sought to strike a better balance between dosage and clarity. Officials note that with its Veo technology, for instance, physicians have achieved clear chest CT images with less than 1 millisievert (mSv) of dose – some with radiation dose levels comparable to chest X-rays. (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, by way of comparison.)
"GE has provided low dose solutions for more than 30 years, and the GE Blueprint for low dose furthers our healthymagination vision of improving the cost, quality and access of healthcare," said Immelt. "We are pleased to recognize North Shore-LIJ's vision and efforts already on this front."
North Shore-LIJ is the largest healthcare provider in the New York City region and a recipient of the National Quality Forum's 2010 National Quality Healthcare Award. After reviewing all imaging equipment in 2010 and instituting a three year plan to replace or upgrade more than $50 million in equipment, it achieved system-wide American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation, started manually tracking CT patient exposure levels system-wide, and introduced a mandatory credentialing requirement for non-radiologists using medical radiation.
As part of its "blueprint," the health system is incorporating 16 new advanced GE CT systems and low dose technologies, officials say: