Ironically, those two words – so similar on the surface – often turn out to be antonyms. Today I’m going to attempt to provide you with some transparency relative to a recent disappearance here on this site.
I hope my 2011 nPSG on MRI safety doesn’t cause any confusion with the Joint Commission’s new NPSG (National Patient Safety Goals). The fact is that this is distinct… it only uses the Joint Commission’s own wording to craft a patient safety goal specific to MRI in an effort to break through the paper-thin fallacy of ‘supporting MRI safety’ without providing (a) specific standards, (b) comparable scrutiny based on TJC published best-practices, (c) enforcement of requisite risk-management standards as they would apply to MRI, or (d) specific expert training on MRI safety issues for their on-site surveyor corps.
So, here is the justification my new nPSG, using the Joint Commission’s own words… Click Here To Read TJC’s Own Words On MRI Safety…
This, in essence, is the entirety of point-of-care safety standards for MRI.
“Hey, you, MR technologist! Make sure you know what you’re supposed to know to keep people safe around MRI.“
Make no mistake, as someone who spent a decade in college (which included a Masters degree and about half of a 2nd Bachelors), I’m a huge fan of education. What I’m adamantly opposed to – when it comes to MRI safety – is education without any standards or benchmarks, which is precisely where we find ourselves today.
Alright, I don’t love the fact of being wrong, but my mission is to motivate improvements in MRI safety for patients, staff, and providers. I’m not the least bit interested in having the longest list of ‘I told you so’ moments, and I’m uncomfortable when someone applies the term ‘guru’ to me. I am openly, vocally, critical of organizations when I feel that they haven’t lived up to their obligation to reinforce MRI safety standards, so when one of them does well, I can’t tell you how happy I am to eat my prior words, and today is an example of that…
A few weeks ago the announcements came down, CMS had ‘deemed’ three organizations to accredit the new classification of Advanced Imaging in order to be eligible for Medicare & Medicaid reimbursement: the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Intersocietal Commission, and the Joint Commission (TJC).
The other two have had modality-specific accreditation programs for years, so what was the TJC going to do? Well, they’ve released their accreditation criteria, and one of the most wonderful surprises is that MRI safety is more prominent than it is in either of the other two ‘imaging’ accrediting bodies!
And what’s even more alarming is that 20% of those implant patients that get MRIs experience some sort of device malfunction afterward! And yet, the dangers of imaging these patients are not well known by the doctors who prescribe these imaging studies.
Go grab yourself a cup of coffee before you continue… this is going to be a long (for me, anyway) rant.
Let’s start at the very beginning (“what a very good place to start”). Click To Read The Whole Story…
But 2010 holds the promise of reversing course.
Throughout 2009, we saw tantalizing glimpses of potential MRI safety improvements, which repeatedly escaped becoming real. Here are my ‘Top 3’ near-miss opportunities of 2009 to substantially reshape MR safety…
“Tweet, tweet” is usually all I hear from little birdies… but one little bird that flew past my office recently had a surprisingly large vocabulary and told me of new requirements that will be introduced in the forthcoming 2010 update to the ‘Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities’ (commonly referred to as ‘Guidelines’).
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Guidelines, they are the design requirements that are cited by the Joint Commission and, at last count, 42 of the 50 U.S. State Departments of Health. Technically, they aren’t a building code, but the function in almost the exact same way. For the first time, the Guidelines are going to have specific MRI suite design requirements for patient safety.
As if you needed a personal invitation from me, here it is nonetheless. Please join me (and a several thousand of your colleagues) at the American Hot Rod Association [ahem] American Healthcare Radiology Administrators annual meeting in August. And though it may not really be my place to invite you to the conference, I do want to extend to you a personal invitation to 2½ special events that will happen during that week.