NICE publishes guidance on dose monitoring software

Published: 14 November 2017 Ezine

NICE have released a Medtech Innovation Briefing regarding ‘Radiation dose monitoring software for medical imaging with ionising radiation’.

The briefing is designed to support NHS and social care commissioners and staff who are considering acquiring new dose monitoring software.

The information provided includes a description of the technology, how it’s used and its potential role in the treatment pathway.

It also includes a review of relevant published evidence and the likely costs of using the technologies. 

Download the briefing.

Daniel Togher, SCoR Clinical Rep on the PHE Dose Survey Group commented: “It is an IR(ME)R requirement that employers establish diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) for doses from clinical imaging examinations (that use radiation).

“One key finding from the recent CQC 2016 IR(ME)R Annual Report is that there is a lack of understanding of how DRL’s should be used and how to monitor when levels are constantly exceeded.

“Though it is not a requirement in law to have a dose monitoring software system within radiology services, this briefing from NICE aims to support organisations who are considering the purchase of one. 

“Such a system supports the collation of radiation doses locally and allowing dose analyses to take place with the ultimate aim of optimisation.”

For more information on DRLs, the International Commission on Radiological Protection have published Report on Diagnostic Reference Levels in Medical Imaging - ICRP Publication 135, Ann. ICRP 46(1), 2017. 
E. Vaño, D.L. Miller, C.J. Martin, M.M. Rehani, K. Kang, M. Rosenstein, P. Ortiz-Lopez, S. Mattsson, R. Padovani, A. Rogers

Abstract - The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) first introduced the term 'diagnostic reference level' (DRL) in 1996 in Publication 73. The concept was subsequently developed further, and practical guidance was provided in 2001. The DRL has been proven to be an effective tool that aids in optimisation of protection in the medical exposure of patients for diagnostic and interventional procedures. However, with time, it has become evident that additional advice is needed. There are issues related to definitions of the terms used in previous guidance, determination of the values for DRLs, the appropriate interval for re-evaluating and updating these values, appropriate use of DRLs in clinical practice, methods for practical application of DRLs, and application of the DRL concept to newer imaging technologies. This publication is intended as a further source of information and guidance on these issues. Some terminology has been clarified. In addition, this publication recommends quantities for use as DRLs for various imaging modalities, and provides information on the use of DRLs for interventional procedures and in paediatric imaging. It suggests modifications in the conduct of DRL surveys that take advantage of automated reporting of radiation-dose-related quantities, and highlights the importance of including information on DRLs in training programmes for healthcare workers. The target audience for this publication is national, regional, and local authorities; professional societies; and facilities that use ionising radiation for medical purposes, and responsible staff within these facilities. A full set of the Commission's recommendations is provided.