after a year-long application and interview process, FluoroSafety was accredited by the Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to independently provide Continuing Medical Education for physicians. This accreditation is the ultimate achievement for CME providers, as it signifies compliance with essential ACCME criteria that encourage the development of high quality CME that is free from commercial influence.
This decision will allow FluoroSafety to continue to expand our library of leading educational programs on quality and safety in medical imaging. Check back soon for our brand new programs on MRI Safety and Appropriate Use of Imaging by Referring Providers.
The ACCME recently announced the establishment of an agreement of mutual substantial equivalency with the European Board for Accreditation in Cardiology. This means that any physician completing an activity offered by FluoroSafety can submit his or her certificate to EBAC to have EBAC credit awarded for the activity. Read more at http://accme.org/news-publications/news/accreditation-council-cme-and-european-board-accreditation-cardiology
Great news! ABIM diplomates can now claim Medical Knowledge CME credit for completing any of the high quality training programs developed by FluoroSafety. These credits help fulfill the MOC requirements for the ABIM. MOC credits earned are automatically reported to the ABIM upon successful completion of any of the training programs offered by FluoroSafety.
ABA diplomates, won’t feel left out. All FluoroSafety courses have been approved to fulfill the patient safety CME requirement for Part II of the Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology Program (MOCA) of The American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).
For the third time, the Advanced Training Program on the Safe Use of Fluoroscopy was accredited by the Continuing Medical Education office at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our flagship training program has continued to evolve with fluoroscopy technology and remains #1 in its field.
This course is congruent with the training recommendations of AAPM Report 124 for users of fluoroscopy who are performing “Modrate” risk procedures. This includes, but not limited to, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, oral surgery, gynecology, urology, pain management, speech pathology, plastic surgery, gastroenterology, endoscopy and others.
On January 13, 2015 the Texas Department of State Health Services released a statement saying that the implementation of the Radiation Safety Awareness Training requirement had been delayed. This notice was released just 3 months prior to the rule’s compliance deadline and nearly two years after the announcement of the regulation. Just like you, we are puzzled by this change and we have no explanation. We suggest directing all questions regarding the delayed implementation of the requirement for Radiation Safety Awareness Training in Texas to either Chuck Flynn at 512-834-6770, ext. 2821 or firstname.lastname@example.org and Kathryn Perkins at 512-834-6660.
What does the recent news from the Texas DSHS mean for you?
In 2014, FluoroSafety trained over 1000 physicians with their Advanced Training and their Patient Safety Program. Together these courses cover all aspects pertaining to the safe use of fluoroscopy, focussed not just on patient and staff safety, but also on image quality optimization at an exam specific level. Physicians taking these courses generally remarked at it’s ease of access and user friendliness and over 90% of physicians noted that the course taught them something useful about fluoroscopy that they believe will benefit their patients.
Dr. A. Kyle Jones won the award for best radiation dosimetry research article in Medical Physics during 2013 for the article:
Jones AK and Wagner LK; On the (f)utility of measuring the lead equivalence of protective garments; Medical Physics, 40(6), 2013
In this article, Dr. Jones provides an analysis of the specified ‘lead equivalence’ of several protective garments and concludes that the term ‘lead equivalence’, a term which us commonly used to compare radiation protection garments is ambiguous.
ABSTRACT: Protective garments incorporating lead (Pb) or other moderate to high atomic number elements are a necessary radiation protection tool. However, as lead has been replaced by other elements, verifying manufacturers’ claims regarding the lead equivalence of such garments has become nearly impossible, and current standards only require measurement of attenuation or lead equivalence at a single beam quality. A garment may provide a high degree of protection at the specified beam quality, but underperform at others. The authors sought to measure the lead equivalence of several protective garments and propose a better method for quantifying the protective value of garments.
The authors measured the penetration of primary and scattered radiation through lead sheets and three protective garments of nominal 0.5 mm Pb equivalence, one lead and two lead-free. Penetration was measured using beams of nominal 60, 80, 100, and 120 kVp. Primary penetration through protective garments at 70 kVp was also measured. A lead-lined enclosure was constructed for measuring scatter penetration, as instruments must be protected from stray radiation when measuring low-level penetration of scattered radiation. Using polynomial least-squares fits to the measured data of penetration through lead sheets, the authors determined the lead equivalence of the protective garments across a range of beam qualities.
The lead garment was 0.5 mm Pb equivalent across all beam qualities evaluated. While the maximum lead equivalence of the lead-free garments did occur at the manufacturer-specified beam quality, neither garment was 0.5 mm Pb equivalent at the specified beam quality. The lead equivalence of the lead-free garments was a strong function of beam quality and nature of the radiation, i.e., primary or scattered. The lead equivalence of the lead-free garments in primary beams ranged from 0.40 to 0.47 mm Pb equivalent and in scattered beams ranged from 0.37 to 0.46 mm Pb equivalent. The penetration through one lead-free garment at 60 kVp was 478% higher than the penetration through the lead garment. The authors have also provided linear fits of radiation penetration through lead as a function of half-value layer. It is likely that assessment of protective value can be performed using primary beams matched to the spectra of scattered beams. The authors propose the diagnostic radiation index of protection (DRIP), a weighted sum of the percentage of radiation penetration across a range of beam qualities, as a more robust method for specifying the protective value of garments.
The protective value of garments from both primary and scattered radiation is a strong function of beam quality. Assessment of the protective value should be performed across a range of beam qualities. Methods for performing such assessment must be developed and must specify beam qualities, measurement geometry, and the appropriate weighting across the beam quality range for different applications.
Dr. Alexander S. Pasciak won the award for best educational research article in Academic Radiology during 2013 for:
K. C. Frederick-Dyer, A. R. Faulkner, T. T. Chang, R. E. Heidel and A. S. Pasciak; Web based training on the safe use of fluoroscopy can result in a significant decrease in patient dose; Academic Radiology; vol. 20(10), 1272-1277, 2013.
In this article, Dr. Pasciak provides the results of a clinical trial to evaluate whether 1st year radiology residents who took FluoroSafety’s Advanced Training Program would perform any differently compared to residents at the same institution who received instruction only from attending radiologists. The residents who completed FluoroSafety’s Advanced Training Program were able to complete fluoroscopic procedures with significantly less patient dose with no decrease in diagnostic quality.
ABSTRACT: Concerns over medical radiation exposure have received national press in recent years, and training in the appropriate use of radiation has become an essential component of every radiology residency program. Appropriate training is particularly important in fluoroscopy because it is commonly used by inexperienced radiology residents and has the potential to impart relatively high patient radiation doses. In an effort to minimize the radiation doses received by patients, our institution has recently initiated an online training program in the safe use of fluoroscopy. This course is required and must be completed by new radiology residents before their first fluoroscopy rotation. The goal of this study was to determine if the use of an online course in the safe use of fluoroscopy could result in decreased patient dose without affecting diagnostic quality.
Four years of retrospective procedural data for residents performing gastrointestinal and genitourinary fluoroscopic procedures without specialized training were reviewed. Incoming residents took an American Medical Association-accredited online training program in the safe use of fluoroscopy the week before their first fluoroscopy rotation. Patient dose and diagnostic quality data, inferred from the frequency of attending physician intervention necessary to complete the procedure, were collected for all exams performed by the new group of residents after completion of the training course. This was then compared to data from prior classes and stratified by procedure type.
Statistically significant reductions in both average fluoroscopy time (FT) or dose-area-product (DAP) were found for many of the fluoroscopic procedures performed by residents who participated in the online fluoroscopy training program. Specifically, statistically significant reductions in FT for barium enema, cystogram, defecogram, and esophagram procedures (P < .001) were found. Esophagram and upper gastrointestinal studies were completed with a significantly lower DAP (P < .001). The average reduction in DAP across all procedures performed by first-year residents was 38%, whereas the average reduction in FT was 25%. Based on a review of data from all procedures performed, there was no statistically significant loss in diagnostic quality.
An online training program can be effectively used to provide radiation safety instruction immediately before the start of a resident’s fluoroscopy rotation, decreasing patient dose without affecting diagnostic quality.