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Checklist Developed to Cut Radiation Exposure in Children

Excellent compliance seen with do-and-verify checklist and implementation manual

FRIDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A checklist has been developed to minimize radiation exposure to children during radiography; the checklist has been published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

To minimize radiation exposure to children during radiography, Susan D. John, M.D., from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and colleagues developed and tested a checklist for technologists to use during the performance of digital radiography in pediatric patients.

The authors note that a do-and-verify checklist was selected as the most appropriate type for radiology and includes the most critical steps for ensuring patient safety. The digital radiography process was divided into four phases and the checklist design allows technicians to complete each phase in its entirety before pausing. To help users better understand and use the checklist, a 14-page implementation manual accompanies the checklist. Technologists at the pilot study site used the checklist during routine work for one week. Compliance with the checklist was excellent and the number of checkmarks exceeded expectations in all categories. Survey responses were neutral to positive for ease of use, appropriateness of content, and format.

"Standardization of work processes such as digital radiography can be improved by the use of a safety checklist or other performance improvement aids that decrease reliance on memory and thus reduce the chance for errors," the authors write.

Abstract (http://www.jacr.org/article/S1546-1440(13)00148-8/abstract )Full Text (http://www.jacr.org/article/S1546-1440(13)00148-8/fulltext )