Mountain States Health Alliance is dedicated to providing the best possible care for you. We know that you rely on us for fast, high-quality imaging that provides you with the answers to guide your treatment and care. As part of our ongoing commitment, we have taken a proactive approach to provide the lowest possible radiation dose.
We understand that some of you may have questions about the level of radiation received as part of your imaging exam. All equipment purchased over the past few years has been bought with additional investment to obtain the lowest dose possible, such as our new fluoroscopic equipment and CT Scanners. Our new CT Scanners are reducing radiation exposure up to 50%.
We know that, like us, you are concerned about medical radiation dose. Thats why we continue to evaluate processes and tools to lower dose as they become available.
What has MSHA done to improve radiation safety?
- Installed LOW-DOSE CT scanners by Siemens, which have been accredited by the American College of Radiology
- Continually reviewing our protocols throughout the system
- Our staff has taken the Image Gently and Image Wisely pldges to provide the best care for our patients.
- The Diagnostic Imaging Departments throughout MSHA are proud to have accreditations from the American College of Radiology (ACR).
What does it mean to have ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation?
To achieve the ACR Gold Standard of Accreditation, our facility's personnel qualifications, equipment requirements, quality assurance, and quality control procedures have gone through a rigorous review process and have met specific qualifications. It's important for patients to know that every aspect of the ACR accreditation process is overseen by board-certified, expert radiologists and medical physicists in advanced diagnostic imaging.
What is an X-ray exam?
In an X-ray exam, invisible beams of ionizing radiation(X-rays) pass through the body to create images. For more information, please visit www.radiologyinfo.org
What is a dose of radiation?
Radiation dose is measured by the time and intensity of exposure, similar to measuring sunlight. In diagnostic imaging the amount of radiation received depends factors such as the type of test and duration. It also depends on the patients size and the part of the body being exposed.
How is radiation dose measured?
The best way to measure the radiation dose is known as effective dose. Typically, this measurement is expressed in milliSieverts (mSv). The effective dose measures a patients risk by evaluating the long-term effects of radiation exposure on body organs and tissue.
What are the risks from medical radiation?
Although there is no conclusive evidence that radiation from X-ray exams or CT scans causes cancer, some studies of large populations exposed to radiation have demonstrated slight increases in cancer risk even at low levels of exposure, particularly in children.
How is radiation risk calculated?
Radiation risk is calculated by comparing the radiation from a diagnostic test to everyday background radiation we receive from the environment.
Everyone is exposed to small amounts of naturally occurring background radiation from soil, rocks, building materials, air, water and cosmic radiation. The chart below compares the amount of radiation exposure from X-ray exams and CT scans to background radiation exposure.
How can we minimize radiation risk?
- Your caregivers will take certain precautions to make sure you are exposed to the smallest amount of radiation possible during an X-ray exam or CT scan.
- Use X-ray or CT only when there is a clear medical benefit.
- Use the lowest amount of radiation for adequate imaging based on your size.
- Image only the indicated area.
- Avoid multiple scans.
- Use alternative studies (such as ultrasound or MRI) when possible.
Radiation Safety for Children
Information for Pediatric Patients
Information for Adult Patients