At Beaumont, patient safety is as important as medical progress. We take all of the necessary steps to ensure that patients will not be exposed to unnecessary radiation during cancer treatments and to reduce radiation exposure during testing.
Radiation is used to diagnose (diagnostic) or treat patients (therapeutic) and its benefits far outweigh the risks. Over the years, Beaumont has taken dramatic steps to establish the safest and most precise medical imaging treatment. Below are a few of the innovations Beaumont has implemented to ensure the safety of our patients.
The greatest radiation exposure a patient experiences during diagnostic testing involves the use of computed tomography or CT scans and PET/CT (positron emission tomography for tumor imaging). CT scans use several X-ray beams to create a full image of the human body, allowing physicians to clearly see inside the body in a non-invasive manner. PET uses an injection of a radioactive tracer that is absorbed inside possible tumors and is imaged by PET imaging equipment.
Beaumont is proud to be a leader in reducing radiation exposure, while maintaining the highest quality of images, through our research and technology.
Beaumont assumed a lead role in the State of Michigan in reducing radiation doses for cardiac CT procedures. At Beaumont, radiation dose from cardiac CT is one half the national average with no loss of image quality (JAMA 2009). Flash CT, is a diagnostic CT scanner that dramatically reduces radiation exposure for patients undergoing testing. Beaumont offers Flash CT at all three of our hospitals, allowing this safe, effective and fast technology to be accessible throughout Southeast Michigan to patients at high-risk for diagnostic radiation exposure.
The strength of Flash CT comes from the reduction in radiation to specific patient populations. These include children, cardiac patients, trauma patients and those with chronic conditions who require repeated scans.
The Radiation Oncology program at Beaumont is consistently ranked among the top 20 in the nation for their research and its impact, according to a recently published study in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Invented by Beaumont doctors and physicists as the next generation of radiation therapy, Omnibeam is a clinically advanced radiation treatment for cancer that combines CT imaging and robotic technology with a linear accelerator, a machine that emits a radiation beam for pinpoint accuracy in delivering radiation to cancer patients. Its robotic component tracks a patient’s movements on a real-time basis and adjusts the treatment accordingly, quickly accommodating patient movement and breathing for optimal treatment and safety.
This unparalleled level of accuracy offers doctors the opportunity to treat cancer more accurately with fewer side effects and minimizes the target area of radiation for patients.
Radiation Safety Call Center
Staffed by Beaumont registered nurses, and is supported by board certified medical physicists, the center is a toll-free, 24-hour-a-day community resource for timely, accurate information about radiation exposure associated with medical imaging.
To better inform our patients, we have also put together comparisons of radiation doses for various diagnostic tests and a radiation tracking wallet card: