ALARA = As Low As Reasonably Achievable
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Finding the right vendor to fix your coils means asking the right questions and then from there, building a great relationship.
Are you part of the tattoo fad?
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that attacks the central nervous system (brain, optic nerves and the spinal cord). Symptoms vary in severity. Worst case scenario, people can lose their eyesight and even become paralyzed, while more lenient cases result in having a numb feeling in the arms and legs. However, each person who suffers with MS can experience different symptoms.
RF (Radio Frequency) Shielding plays a huge role in the MRI’s ability to provide quality images. It is a requirement for all MRI systems to be housed within a RF Shielded MRI scanning room. The RF Shield is used to keep RF noise from getting into the images. Radio stations, electrical equipment and other radio frequency signals can all be responsible for potential image damage if they are not protected by the MRI exam rooms’ RF shielding. This particular shielding consists of layers of metal installed in the MRI exam rooms, covering all of the walls, ceilings and floors. The shielding must cover every window, door, even electrical circuits and other gaps that penetrate the room. One open seam, one small puncture or even a slight slice in a shield can cause image damage and poor shield performance. The metals most used to build these protective rooms are are copper, aluminum and galvanized steel. When it comes to price, most facilities will turn to galvanized steel before copper, since copper is well known for being more expensive.
Things to do BEFORE having a RF Shielding room built:
BC TECHNICAL SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH HEALTHTRUST
-TO PROVIDE REFURBISHED MEDICAL IMAGING EQUIPMENT
West Jordan, Utah—January 21, 2014—BC Technical, a leading non-OEM medical imaging solutions provider, announced today that it has been selected by HealthTrust as a provider for refurbished medical imaging equipment for the 1,400 acute care facilities that are part of the HealthTrust membership.
RSNA is a medical association made up of over 50,000 physicists, oncologists, radiologists and other scientists who are dedicated to offering excellent patient care and promoting quality healthcare. The society is committed to providing educational programs and high quality materials that will help radiologists and scientists continue to learn about and be educated in all of the advancements within the medical field. Their headquarters is located in Oak Brook, Illinois and their yearly educational meeting is held at the McCormick Place in downtown Chicago, Illinois. RSNA offers thousands of continuing education credits and also publishes two of the top Radiology journals, Radiology and RadioGraphics.
If you work in the medical industry, then you have probably heard, at some point, the acronym PACS. But perhaps you aren't sure what it stands for, what it does and why itÂs used. Learn why some PACS praisers claim that it has revolutionized the field of radiology, while others find it not very useful.
For those of you who are unaware, October has been designated as the official month of National Breast Cancer Awareness. Government agencies, public service organizations and professional medical associations join together in order to raise awareness, educate individuals on the severity of breast cancer, share information and facts on the disease and provide options for getting help. It is also an opportunity to host charitable events and to raise funds for research. There are still plenty of studies that need to be implemented in order to help find answers as to how breast cancer is caused, discovering preventions and helping to find a cure from this disease!
If your doctor is urging you to get a
ÂNo one has found the worth of the ruby of the heart; its value cannot be estimated.Â
A research study developed in November of 2012 by the Indiana University School of Medicine showed that out of 307 people who had undergone outpatient CT scans at the university hospital, an astounding 67% of them hardly had a clue as to what radiologists actually do. This is not necessarily the patientsÂ fault, however. Not many radiologists actually interact with the people that are being scanned. Most radiologists spend their time in reading rooms, studying and interpreting images; striving to come up with the best solutions for their findings. Meanwhile, the patients are interacting with physicians and doctors, not the actual individual who has dissected each image and is the most familiar with the results of a scan.
While both the PET (Positron Emission Tomography) and the CT (Computed Tomography) imaging scanners identify abnormalities in organs of the body and have 3D imaging capabilities, they still reveal and compile very different information. Check out the differences between the PET and the CT imaging scanners:
A PET scanner captures images of bodily organs by using a camera and a liquid tracker - It shows molecular function and activity. For the process to work, a liquid tracker (usually known as a Tracer), is injected into a vein. That tracer then swarms to the cells within the body that are collecting the most energy (which is usually a sign of disease or cancer). The tracer then creates positrons. These positively charged particles are captured by the camera and data is collected. PET scans are capable of revealing many outcomes. They help doctors evaluate cancer, see if the disease has spread and determine what the best treatments are. They can detect damaged heart tissue and determine whether there is pour blood flow to the heart. PET systems also help doctors study the brain, the blood flow to the brain and any changes the brain has gone through. Even problems with the nervous system can be detected with a PET scan.
BC TECHNICAL ACQUIRES C&G TECHNOLOGIES
The nationÂs leading non-OEM provider of multi-modality imaging solutions acquires CT experts, C&G Technologies, enhancing their CT service and support capabilities.
A CT scanner is a life saving instrument for diagnosing illnesses and injuries in children and adults. However, for children, radiation exposure is not ideal and in most cases being scanned can be avoided if you just get the facts! Minimize risks of too much exposure by reading up on what you need to know before allowing your child to be scanned.
The following commentary explains some important changes with the CMS decision on PET scan reimbursements:
So there you are standing, shoeless, in a line impatiently waiting to send your belongings through the baggage scanner when you realize that you yourself are required to be scanned and examined as well. How do you feel about that?
Did you know that an excessive amount of body fat damages the quality of images that you would get from using a CT or MR scanner? In order for a scan to be successful and the images to be precise, the x-rays must be able to infiltrate through layers of skin, tissue and fat. Since all body tissue absorbs and averts a certain amount of the x-ray waves, it is even more difficult to capture accurate data and images for people who are severely overweight. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and there is no doubt that that number will continue to increase. This disturbing statistic has forced companies to accommodate for these patients in a few different ways:
In the final rule, CMS said, Payments to primary care specialties ... will increase due to redistributions from changes in payments for services furnished by other specialties. Because of the budget-neutral nature of this system, decreases in payments for one service result in increases in payments in others."
The rule will be published in the Federal Register on November 16; the final comment period will close on December 31, and the rule will take effect on January 1, 2013.
Read more about the CMS final rule here.
Due to life-saving technological advances and new applications of existing technology, medical imaging experienced a marked increase in utilization and spending from 2001 to 2005. Imaging became central to good medical practicedecreasing the need for invasive surgical procedures and delays in diagnosis. Better computer technology and breakthroughs in clinical applications enabled doctors to better target many treatments and eliminate others that became unnecessary. Among these technologies are PET and CT scans.
The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA)
Despite the advances in technology, Medicare reimbursements for medical imaging services have been cut eight times since 2006. Per beneficiary spending on advanced imaging services (often singled out for payment cuts by federal policymakers) has declined by 27.6 percent. This decline does not line up with the perception among some policymakers that Medicare spending on imaging services is growing. In 2007, the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) reduced payments to imaging dramatically. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated $500 million in reimbursement cuts to medical imaging, but after implementation, the total was nearly $1.6 billion. Cuts are planned to continue through 2013.
In 2006, at its peak, imaging spending was 13 percent of Medicare carrier paid claims. However, in 2011 it dropped to only 9.3 percent. Medicare devoted a smaller portion of spending to imaging in 2011 than at any point in the last decade. The rate of imaging growth relative to the overall Medicare program was a key factor, cited by policymakers, in targeting medical imaging for reimbursement cuts in the past.
Medical Imaging Utilization
A year-over-year decrease began in 2010 for the utilization of all imaging technology services. This means Medicare beneficiaries received fewer scans per beneficiary than in the previous year. Despite new clinical applications of imaging technology and evidence of the role of imaging in reducing healthcare costs, this decline in Medicare beneficiaries use of medical imaging services has continued. The contrast between the proven value of imaging and its declining use raises serious concerns that further payment cuts may threaten access to appropriate medical imaging for many Medicare patients.
The decline can also be attributed to advancements in the education of physicians on appropriate imaging. As physicians use guidelines on imaging, they are better able to discuss the benefits and risks of imaging with patients and their families to make informed decisions about the best path forward.
Nuclear medicine specialists use safe, painless, and cost-effective techniques to image the body and treat disease. Nuclear medicine imaging is unique, because it provides doctors with information about both structure and function. It is a way to gather medical information that would otherwise be unavailable, require surgery, or necessitate more expensive diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine imaging procedures often identify abnormalities very early in the progress of a disease long before many medical problems are apparent with other diagnostic tests. Nuclear medicine uses very small amounts of radioactive materials (radiopharmaceuticals) to diagnose and treat disease. In imaging, the radiopharmaceuticals are detected by special types of cameras that work with computers to provide very precise pictures about the area of the body being imaged. In treatment, the radiopharmaceuticals go directly to the organ being treated.
What is PET?
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is a major diagnostic imaging modality used in determining the presence and severity of cancers, neurological conditions, and cardiovascular disease. It is currently the most effective way to check for cancer recurrences. PET images demonstrate the chemistry of organs and other tissues such as tumors. A radiopharmaceutical, such as FDG fluorodeoxyglucose), which includes both sugar (glucose) and a radionuclide (a radioactive element) that gives off signals, is injected into the patient, and its emissions are measured by a PET scanner.
A nuclear medicine technologist is a highly skilled professional who performs nuclear medicine examinations using specialized equipment to produce high-quality images of structures inside the human body. After the examination, the technologist reviews the images and the patients history with a physician trained in the interpretation of nuclear medicine procedures that renders a final diagnosis. Both physicians and technologists are supported by specially trained physicists and pharmacists who ensure the reliability and quality of the instruments and safety of the radiopharmaceuticals used in the performance of nuclear medicine exams.
How do I know if I am receiving high-quality care?
Ask if your nuclear medicine technologist is certified. Certified technologists have demonstrated that they have specific training and experience to perform a nuclear medicine examination accurately. In order to maintain their certification, technologists are required to earn continuing medical education credits each year, which helps ensure that they are current with nuclear medicine technology and patient care skills. Ask if the nuclear medicine practice you are visiting is accredited. Practices that have obtained accreditation have demonstrated competency in every aspect of their operation, including the education and training of doctors and technologists, nuclear medicine equipment, document storage, policies safeguarding patients, and accuracy in diagnosis.
How safe are nuclear medicine procedures?
Nuclear medicine procedures are among the safest diagnostic imaging exams available. To obtain diagnostic information, a patient is given a very small amount of a radiopharmaceutical. Because such a small amount is used, the amount of radiation received from a nuclear medicine procedure is comparable with that received during a diagnostic x-ray. The nuclear medicine team will carefully perform the most appropriate examination for the patients particular medical problem and thereby avoid any unnecessary radiation exposure.
BC Technical is proud to offer continuing education opportunities to help you achieve your highest level of health service for your patients. Beginning this fall, we will offer multiple online courses. All CE courses are approved by The Society of Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging for Category A credit.
Recently, BC Technical, Inc. attended the Viva Las Vegas show SNM Pacific Southwest Technologists Chapter. Ava Bixler, our molecular imaging Clinical Product Specialist, presented on Radiation Safety. If you missed out, here is a highlight from her speech.
Did you know?
Because they contain low levels of minerals that naturally decay, bananas are radioactive. The fruit contains high levels of potassium. Radioactive K-40 has an isotopic abundance of 0.01% and a half-life of 1.25 billion years.
The average banana contains around 450 mg of potassium and will experience about 14 decays each second. It's no big deal; you already have potassium in your body, 0.01% as K-40. We know that bananas are an essential part of proper nutrition and proven to help with stress, anemia, depression, hangovers, morning sickness, and many other heath issues.However, can your body handle the radiation?
Eating a banana for breakfast is not going to set off a Geiger counter. However, if you carry a produce truck full of them, you might encounter some problems!
Banana Equivalent Doses
500 Million = Ten minutes next to Chernobyl reactor core after explosion and meltdown
80 Million = Fatal dose even with treatment
20 Million = Severe radiation poisoning, fatal in some cases
500,000 = Maximum legal yearly dose for a US radiation worker
70,000 = Chest CT scan
40,000 = Ten years of normal background dose, 85% of which is from natural sources
4000 = Mammogram
1000 = Approximate total dose received at Fukushima Town Hall in two weeks following accident
400 = Flight from London to New York
300 = Yearly release target for a nuclear power plant
200 = Chest X-ray
50 = Dental X-ray
1 = Eating a banana
As new information becomes available, its important for professionals to learn, not only for their own growth, but also for the benefit of the client. This is especially true in health care, as it has a significant impact on the health and well-being of patients. Customers in health care are not purchasing a product; they are gaining a better quality of life and potentially more years of healthy existence as a result of the knowledge of their health care providers.
The 2012 SNM Annual Meeting will be held June 9-13 in Miami Beach, FL, and what would a conference in Miami Beach be without a party? In addition to the dedicated exhibit hall hours and special presentations, you will want to plan to attend the Thallium Stallions concert Sunday June 10 at 8pm! Every year at the SNM annual meeting, BC Technical sponsors the Thallium Stallions in concert, which is the highlight of the entire conference for many. The Stallions are all current nuclear medicine professionals, physicians, and industry thought leaders turned rock stars for a night. They play their own brand of music: radioactive, metal rock and roll or hot metal (a cross between metal and old school rock and roll with a unique nuclear twist.)
The band features: Jack Ziffer, a radiologist, cardiologist and corporate Vice President with Miami Baptist Health Medical Group on saxophone; Ernie Garcia, developer of the Emory Cardiac Toolbox software package and renowned physicist at Emory University Medical Center also on saxophone; Howard Specto Lewin, specialist in PET imaging and a premier cardiologist from Los Angeles, CA on drums; Bob Cleary, University Chair of Nuclear Medicine at Keiser University on bass/vocals; Perry Collins, a long time nuclear medicine professional on the industry side on keyboard and lead vocals; John Felock, another long time nuclear medicine professional from the industry side on guitar/vocals; and Dwight Nicholson, nuclear medicine professional turned IT guru also on guitar/vocals.
We are basically a party band that takes a lot of songs and adapts them to a nuclear medicine theme. We play during the [SNM Annual Meeting] every year. [Our concert] gives everyone a chance to let their hair down for a night and just have a good time. It seems like every luminary in the world is thereall the big names. They all want to see us become legends in our own minds, Bob Cleary jokes. He adds, Weve got some extra special stuff planned for this years show!
This concert will truly be a night to remember, so come enjoy drink specials, have your night documented by a complimentary party photographer, and lose yourself in the sound of the wild Thallium Stallions. You wont want to miss this!
The Thallium Stallions will take the stage Sunday night of the conference (June 10, 2012) at 8pm at the beautiful Bâoli Miami restaurant. For more information and to pick up your commemorative wrist band forfree entry, be sure to visit BC Technical at booth 922 during exhibit hall hours Saturday and Sunday.