All those concerned with patient safety have likely read many of the recent reports about victims’ overexposure to radiation. With increasing use of radiation to combat the spread of deadly invaders of the body or to receiving imaging for diagnosis, the risk of unnecessary radiation damage increases. It is becoming vital for all medical professionals to take every precaution possible to minimize the collateral effects of radiation on the patient.
Fox News recently reported on the steps that some health care providers are taking in their efforts to minimize the rising examples of medical mistakes. Specifically, some facilities are pledging to use the least radiation necessary for any given procedure. The new-found pledge was instigated in large part by recent research that has shown Americans to be receiving much larger doses of radiation than in the past.
One of the main factors leading to the exposure is a drive for profits. Most insurers pay doctors based on the total number of procedures performed, thereby rewarding doctors for performing more tests requiring radiation exposure. In other cases the doctors themselves own the equipment being used and thus have a financial incentive to order tests with the machine.