For the first time, the Joint Commission is requiring accredited providers to comply with new modality-specific imaging standards as a part of their accreditation.
Written partly in response to medical radiation exposure accidents that drew public attention several years ago, the new standard followed a series of articles in The New York Times in 2010 and 2011 that highlighted both equipment and personnel failings that exposed patients to excessive radiation from medical imaging and therapy.
A common thread among many of these accidents was that existing accreditation programs, designed to protect the quality and safety of health care services, had not successfully prevented these injuries.
The upshot was the new Diagnostic Imaging Standards for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory health care organizations, which were enacted by the Joint Commission in July.
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