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Mayo Clinic creates radiation-tracking system

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | December 14, 2010
Doctors at the Mayo Clinic said Friday they have launched a radiation-tracking system that pools all of a patient's dosage history in a single, accessible record. Previously, doctors had to manually pull bits of information from different files, the hospital said.

"For the first time we can monitor all the patient records in a centralized fashion and we can review quality assurance guidelines efficiently and conveniently," said Steve G. Langer, the system's designer and chair of diagnostic physics with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in prepared remarks.

Dubbed the DICOM Index Tracker, or DIT, the program gathers information about images from a variety of modalities and can be searched by patient name or procedure. Mayo said the software includes built-in alarms to help ensure doses stay within appropriate guidelines.

Langer said DIT also is able to "learn" updates to the DICOM standard, so it can keep creating workable searches.

The system was developed at Mayo's Scottsdale, Ariz. clinic with help from Arizona State University researchers. It's currently being used at both the Arizona and Minnesota sites, Mayo said. The hospital group estimates that its three locations (it also has a campus in Jacksonville, Fla.) run 1.5 million imaging tests per year.