Age-specific standards in radiology.Radiol Manage. 1996 May-Jun; 18(3):33-40.RM
This article describes a plan developed by the radiology department at Sibley Memorial Hospital to meet JCAHO standards for age-specific care. The goal of the program was to improve patient care and document outcomes while complying with the standards. There are numerous references in the JCAHO standards that require recognizing physical motor/sensory, cognitive and psychosocial differences among the age groups served by an institution. One of the challenges of meeting age-specific requirements is applying them to all aspects of care that are affected. The most important part of Sibley's age-specific program is a tool called the ¿quick reference guide¿ (QRG). It was designed by the radiology department to provide detailed, comprehensive information to all staff members in an easy-to-use format. The QRG is posted prominently throughout the department. The QRG includes age-specific information for the following patient care areas in radiology: radiation protection, exposure factors, immobilization, venipuncture, medication/contrast dose, skin care, communication, patient/family education and patient safety. The JCAHO is more interested in having staff members know where to obtain information about age-specific care than in having them memorize ¿answers.¿ Having a clear and complete QRG available at all times fulfills that requirement.