Joint Commission Change Standards for diagnostic imaging services

The Joint Commission announced changes to its standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals, and ambulatory health care organizations that provide diagnostic imaging services, including ambulatory organizations that have achieved Advanced Diagnostic Imaging certification. The changes will be effective July 1, 2014 with additional requirements to be phased in by 2015.

Primary areas addressed in the new standards include:

-Minimum competency for radiology technologists, including registration and certification by July 1, 2015
-Annual performance evaluations of imaging equipment by a medical physicist
-Documentation of CT radiation dose in the patient’s clinical record
-Meeting the needs of the pediatric population through imaging protocols and considering patient size when establishing imaging protocols
-Management of safety risks in the MRI environment
-Collection of data on incidents where pre-identified radiation dose limits have been exceeded