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How to Document a CT Protocol: Practical Advice and a Free Template

T Szczykutowicz*, University Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI


(Sunday, 7/29/2018) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: CT scanners have dozens of selectable options and modes used to image newborn to bariatric and non-contrast heads to multiphasic angiograms. Documenting how the scanner should be set-up and how the CT technologist should operate is not easy. Too often, issues arise when someone tries to implement someone else’s protocol but critically important details are not communicated. This paper provides clinical examples of these issues and presents a freely available template for documenting your own CT protocols.

Methods: Real clinical examples will be given to demonstrate how improperly documenting a CT protocol leads to confusion, improper doses, or workflow issues. A solution to communicating CT protocols will be provided in the form of explaining a free online template for documenting protocols. The template has sections for compliance details, clinical details, workflow details, and technical acquisition parameters. The template includes instructions for each field to guide the end user in filling out the template.

Results: We will discuss an example of how an orthopedic protocol from a device company devoid of tube rotation time leads to dose ambiguity. We will discuss an example of an angio chest protocol not detailing what strength contrast to use leads to patient safety issues and compromised diagnostic utility. We will discuss an example of a chest protocol not specific on the source images to be used for reformats that lead to reading room to scanner phone calls and slower read times. We will walk through an expandable CT protocol template with 90 default starting fields. An example protocol will be documented during the talk using this protocol template.

Conclusion: Clinical errors manifesting in the form of patient safety concerns, workflow delays, and excess time spent managing protocols are all caused by poor protocol documentation.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Consultant GE Healthcare, Provides CT Protocols to GE Healthcare under a licensing agreement, founder, co-owner LiteRay Medical LLC, MAB iMALOGIX


Quality Control, CT


IM- CT: General (Most aspects)

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