Radiation dose metrics in CT: Assessing dose using the national quality forum CT patient safety measure

Jillian Keegan, Diana L Miglioretti, Robert Gould, Lane F. Donnelly, Nicole D. Wilson, Rebecca Smith-Bindman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose The National Quality Forum (NQF) is a nonprofit consensus organization that recently endorsed a measure focused on CT radiation doses. To comply, facilities must summarize the doses from consecutive scans within age and anatomic area strata and report the data in the medical record. Our purpose was to assess the time needed to assemble the data and to demonstrate how review of such data permits a facility to understand doses. Methods and Materials To assemble the data we used for analysis, we used the dose monitoring software eXposure to automatically export dose metrics from consecutive scans in 2010 and 2012. For a subset of 50 exams, we also collected dose metrics manually, copying data directly from the PACS into an excel spreadsheet. Results Manual data collection for 50 scans required 2 hours and 15 minutes. eXposure compiled the data in under an hour. All dose metrics demonstrated a 30% to 50% reduction between 2010 and 2012. There was also a significant decline and a reduction in the variability of the doses over time. Conclusion The NQF measure facilitates an institution's capacity to assess the doses they are using for CT as part of routine practice. The necessary data can be collected within a reasonable amount of time either with automatic software or manually. The collection and review of these data will allow facilities to compare their radiation dose distributions with national distributions and allow assessment of temporal trends in the doses they are using.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-315
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • CT
  • dose metrics
  • quality improvement
  • radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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