The American Medical Association House of Delegates adopted new policies aimed at preventing deadly radiation overdoses and curbing the cumulative lifetime impact of radiation from diagnostic tests such as computed tomography.
Delegates at the November Interim Meeting voted to support education and standards for the medical personnel, usually nonphysicians, who use ionizing and nonionizing radiation to ensure that they know how to avoid over-radiating patients. The AMA also will support raising awareness among patients about medical radiation exposure.
The AMA will encourage the development and use of electronic medical record systems that track the number of imaging procedures a patient has received in inpatient and outpatient settings.
“The American Medical Association has been working toward solutions for reducing medical radiation exposure, and new policy adopted by the AMA promotes the safe use of medical imaging devices and supports proper training for the medical personnel who use them,” said AMA Immediate Past President Cecil B. Wilson, MD.
“The AMA encourages the continued development and use of standardized medical record systems to help physicians track the number of imaging procedures a patient has received to help mitigate the potential dangers associated with cumulative radiation exposure,” he said.
Knowing such information can help physicians and patients more meaningfully consider the risk-benefit ratio before proceeding with a medical imaging study involving radiation, said Adam C. Levine, MD, a Boston emergency physician and an alternate delegate for the American College of Emergency Physicians.