PCORI implementation projects promote the use of findings from PCORI-funded studies. This project focuses on implementing findings from the completed PCORI-funded research project: Why Do Radiation Doses in CT Differ across Hospitals and Countries?
This project is in progress.
What were the results from the original PCORI-funded research study?
Computed tomography, or CT, scans, use radiation to find injury or disease inside the body. In the original study, the research team identified targets for how much radiation is needed for different types of scans. Brain scans need a different amount than chest scans, for example. The team shared the targets with hospitals and gave feedback about how to reduce radiation in scans. At the hospitals that got information about the radiation targets, patients got high-dose radiation scans less often. The average radiation per scan for all patients also decreased.
Why is this research finding important?
Every year, 75 million CT scans are done in the United States. Each one delivers a radiation dose equal to up to 500 chest x-rays. Exposure to radiation can increase the risk of cancer. Lowering the amount of radiation patients receive during a CT scan can reduce unnecessary health risks.
What is the goal of this project?
In this project, the project team is working to reduce radiation doses more widely by introducing the feedback process in more hospitals and imaging centers and by improving the process.
What is the project team doing?
The team is reviewing CT scan records from Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country and from other health systems and imaging centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. The team is providing radiation feedback and targets to these centers. The team is also creating software to automate the review and feedback process so that hospitals can use it on their own.
How is the team evaluating this project?
The team is looking at how many hospitals and imaging centers use the software and whether their radiation doses change over time. They are also asking hospitals what makes it easier or harder to use the feedback.
How is the team involving patients and others in making sure the findings reach people who can use them?
The team is working with medical societies and groups that monitor hospital quality to provide input and encourage hospitals to use the software.
*All proposed projects, including requested budgets and project periods, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award contract.