El Paso Patient Dosimetry Services Patient Dosimetry Services El Paso Texas

Frequently asked questions

How do we get started?

PDS will set up an account for your institution. Kits are then ordered and sent to your facility as needed. Instructions and guides are provided to help with placing the dosimeters. PDS physicists are also available to assist you with any questions on using OSL dosimeters.

Is there an expiration date on the kits?

No, the kits can be used as needed and as defined by your program. The only requirement is that they be kept in an area that is protected from radiation. For example, they should be kept in the control area and not in the procedure room.

Do I have to send all of the kits back at once?

No. Individual kits can be mailed back as they are used. They will be analyzed when returned. The dosimetry results are returned to a specified individual through email. Only the patient's unique ID number is included and not the patient's name so as to comply with HIPPA rules. The data is stored in the secure PDS database for reporting.

How do I start a Dose Management Program?

For CT, it is highly recommended that the ACR's Dose Index Registry program be used to help manage CT protocols. The ACR does not provide individual patient dose but provides valuable comparisons for CTDIvol values so that protocols that are significantly different from national averages can be evaluated. See the link to the ACR's site.

Patient dosimetry using OSL dosimeters can be used to establish baseline dose data so that the CTDIvol values for protocols can be related to actual patient doses. It is neither practical nor necessary to monitor every patient undergoing a high-dose procedure.

For FGI, only procedures with long fluoroscopic times need to be monitored. Skin doses for procedures giving less than 2000 mGy (2 Gy) to the skin from a single exam will probably not cause any skin damage. The physicist's mGy/min or R/min output can be used to help determine exams that are 'low dose'. Skin dose from exams with long fluoroscopy times can be measured using OSL dosimeters.

Can we use our physicists with this service?

Yes, absolutely. Physicists are required in some states to provide guidance for dose and protocol management. Data and reports can be sent directly to your physicist if requested.

Will in-vivo dosimetry require much time for the technologists and department managers?

No. Only a minimal amount of time is required to place the dosimeters on the patient and complete the data form. There will not be a disruption of the department's workflow. Reports and analysis are generated by PDS and provided to the managers. Department managers will not be burdened by more paperwork.

When do I get the results?

Once the kits have been received and analyzed, the individual results will be returned by email. In addition, a summary report will be provided to the site with analysis and comparisons. This report can be used for an ongoing patient dose management program and for radiation protocol review and documentation.

Are there different kits for CT and Fluoroscopically Guided Interventional Studies?

No. Each kit contains the same number of dosimeters. The included data form has information for either CT studies or FGI studies. This eliminates the hassle of ordering separate kits for CT and FGI studies.

Can our physicians use the results for their maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements?

It is certainly possible to use the department's dose-reduction efforts and dose monitoring results for MOC studies.

Can we bill for dosimetry?

There are CPT codes that can be used for patient dosimetry. The CPT codes have specific parameters that must be followed. There must be a medical necessity and the study must be requested by a physician. Currently, you cannot bill for patient dosimetry when doing routine dose quality assurance.