Nuclear medicine is a division of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material that is ingested, injected or inhaled by the patient to diagnose or treat a variety of disease, including many types of cancers, heart disease and certain other abnormalities within the body. This accreditation signifies CHOC is committed to performing nuclear medicine and CT services at the highest level of patient safety standards and image quality.
The ACR gold seal of accreditation is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Parameters and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Image quality, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs are assessed. The findings are reported to the ACR Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report that can be used for continuous practice improvement.
In 2019, CHOC was also designated an ACR Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence (DICOE). The DICOE program, which represents the pinnacle of medical imaging care, is an achievement that goes beyond accreditation to recognize best-quality imaging practices and diagnostic care. This includes a comprehensive assessment of the entire medical imaging enterprise, including structure and outcomes.
CHOC is one of only two pediatric hospitals in the nation, and the only pediatric hospital on the West Coast that has been awarded ACR accreditation in all possible modalities as well as DICOE accreditation. Additionally, CHOC is the only nuclear medicine program in Orange County dedicated specifically to pediatrics, with measures that reduce radiation levels by up to 50 percent compared to community hospitals or independent imaging centers.
CHOC uses only board-certified pediatric radiologists and specially trained pediatric radiology technologists, nurses and child life specialists. All radiology staff undergo age-specific training annually to learn how to work and communicate with children of varying ages.
The ACR, founded in 1924, is one of the largest and most influential medical associations in the United States. The ACR devotes its resources to making imaging and radiation therapy safe, effective and accessible to those who need it. Its 38,000 members include radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists, interventional radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians.