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Provider Radiation Safety – Two views

November 29, 2015
Dr. Lori M. Weir
From the November 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
HealthCare Business News interviewed Dr. Lori M. Weir and Dr. John Racadio on the topic of radiation safety for radiologists. Weir is a partner in L&M Radiology and serves on the L&M Operations Committee. She is also the Radiology representative to the Lawrence General Hospital Cancer Committee. Racadio has been practicing interventional radiology for 18 years and has been the division chief of interventional radiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for the past 13 years.
HCB News: Tell us about your day-today and how frequently you are using / being exposed to radiation.
Dr. Lori M. Weir:
I have about 10 cases a day that use fluoroscopy or radiation. If I have an eight-hour workday I probably spend about 5 to 6 hours using fluoroscopy intermittently.
HCB NEWS: How do you see the culture of radiation safety changing or evolving? How different is it from when you started, to this time in your career?
I do think it is evolving and there is more focus on not just the patient but the physicians and technologists in the room as well. It does depend on where you are. I work at two hospitals. There is more attention to exposure at one hospital and less at the other hospital. At one hospital there is a focus on the patient and the entire team. At the other hospital staff radiation safety seems to be an afterthought. They follow required regulations, but go no further.
HCB NEWS: How do forums such as RSNA impact this culture/discussion around radiation safety? Do you anticipate a focus on radiation safety during RSNA?
RSNA is physician focused, and there are always discussions and lectures about radiation safety. I expect they will continue to focus on radiation safety. I think part of the ongoing problem is that the issue remains more on the forefront on the part of physicians. I know that when I am in the room, there is a focus on radiation safety. But that focus needs to come from both sides. In my setting, it’s largely physician- driven. However, the culture has been changed at one hospital by the introduction of a real-time dose monitoring system. I spearheaded getting that technology at one of the hospitals, and it has created a change in the behaviors of people who work with radiation. It’s time to make administration pay attention. Broader organizations where the decisions are not made locally have more of a challenge. There needs to be the administration piece. Administration needs to pay attention, they need to care about their staff and make changes to protect them.

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