In a nutshell, medical use of radioactive materials falls into one of two categories: Diagnostic or therapeutic procedures, both of which are regulated by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) or an authorized agreement state. As with any government agency, regulations and reporting are of the utmost importance. The regulations are designed to ensure the proper use of radioactive materials in medical diagnosis, treatment and research to ensure the safety of patients, medical workers, the public and to protect the environment.
For Norman Regional Health System, BioDose has proven to be a great investment, making mandatory reporting a far easier task. Clay Belk, Supervisor of Nuclear Medicine, whose Norman, Oklahoma-based department sees nearly 300 patients every month, says of the software, “It’s such a great improvement from the days of using paper. With paper, you want to look something up, here’s your book—start looking. Whereas, in a computerized system, it’s easy to find whatever you need and there’s no worries. For certain records, as long as this department exists, we have to maintain these records all the way back to the day we opened.”
Belk continues with a story from a recent inspection: “The reports are on-demand reports. The last time we had an inspection I met with our inspector. When it came time to make sure that we’re maintaining the records that we should, she asked to see the department’s package in and out reports. She picked a random week from 13 months before. I ran a report to pull up the information for the week and let her peruse them, making sure that they were all there. They were intact and contained far more information than she even needed.”
In addition to regulatory reporting, BioDose makes business tracking, as well as research easy. Belk explains: “If I’m trying to do some research on a particular type of study, trying to look up multiple patients to see an imaging technique, the easiest way for me to do that is to go into BioDose and run a report. I enter the date range for the last six months, I want to see every patient that I did a lung scan on, for example. I also run our numbers every month, breaking them down into categories to see where business is coming from— whether we’re doing more inpatient cardiac or more outpatient general studies.”