Mayo Clinic is initiating a new imaging exam tracking system which enables a comprehensive view of a patient's radiation exposures over time and can replace time-consuming manual tracking processes used in many medical centers.
The DICOM Index Tracker (DIT), designed and architected by Steve Langer, at Mayo Rochester, is being developed at Mayo Clinic in Arizona in cooperation with Arizona State University.
DIT tracks all the information available in the images contained in a patient’s imaging studies (including dose, scanner utilisation and other information) and compiles it into an accessible format.
The DICOM index tracker centralises digital images information from tests such as mammography, CT scans, nuclear medicine, cardiac catheterization, etc.
The information can then be sorted by patient or procedure to assess the radiation dose and the number of treatments. Equally important, the system has alerting features built in to ensure dosages are within limit guidelines set by the American Academy of Radiologists.
Mayo Clinic Section on Diagnostic Physics chairman William Pavlicek said for the first time they can monitor all the patient records in a centralized fashion and they can review quality assurance guidelines efficiently and conveniently.
"The benefit for the patient is consistency and continuing to provide an environment that is completely safe which includes the feeling that they are receiving the minimum amount of radiation to achieve a diagnosis," Pavlicek said.