Patient Exposure During Radiological Procedures

Can exposure levels be reduced simply by indicating the purpose of requested examinations in more detail?

Clearly indicating the purpose for requesting an examination results in more appropriate, and in many cases, lower exposure dose levels.

Radiology department personnel try to obtain images that are appropriate for given examination objectives. If the request is for screening, then a detailed image is not normally necessary, but if detailed information is required, such as to show progression into surrounding tissue, then the dose may be adjusted to obtain a sharper image. If the examination purpose is not indicated clearly in the request, then it can prevent the radiological technologist in charge of the examination from selecting appropriate radiography parameter settings, which can result in higher X-ray emission levels than necessary in order to avoid repeating an examination due to inadequate exposure. Therefore, it is one factor that can increase patient exposure dose levels. If the purpose of the examination is clearly indicated when requested, then examinations can be performed with radiation dose levels optimized for the given purpose, which can result in reducing patient exposure dose levels.