The Image Wisely campaign is a collaboration between different groups — including the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America — to lower the amount of radiation used in medical imaging. The campaign provides information and resources for both practitioners who use imaging and patients who want to be informed. Here are three facts about the Image Wisely campaign:
- Provides printable medical imaging cards. Image Wisely offers printable medical imaging cards to patients so they can easily keep track of their imaging history. It can be difficult for people to remember exactly how many X-rays and other imaging tests they have undergone over the course of a lifetime and since the effects of radiation are cumulative, this is a handy way to keep track. The medical imaging card is available at imagewisely.org/Referring-Practitioners.
- Encourages the use of dosimeters. While the radiation dose from dental X-rays is quite small compared with other medical X-ray images, the volume of dental X-rays is the highest in the medical industry and continues to grow. It is the accumulated dose a staff member receives that needs to be monitored. The Instadose+ dosimeteris a digital dosimetry badge that measures the accumulated radiation dose for the staff from each X-ray. The results are on demand and downloadable to a computer, tablet or smartphone, so you have access to an immediate answer.
- Advocates for minimal amount of radiation. The Image Wisely campaign encourages practitioners to use only the minimal amount of radiation necessary to produce diagnostic-level images. It urges medical professionals to take a pledge on its website, imagewisely.org, that they will regularly examine their imaging protocols and keep their equipment updated to minimize radiation exposure.
Imaging is an important diagnostic tool for most medical professionals. Dentists and doctors need to take the necessary precautions to make sure they are not using it any more than absolutely necessary for the appropriate treatment of their patients.