Radiologic Technologists Ask National Lawmakers To Strengthen Standards

Mar 30, 2000, 00:00 ET from American Society of Radiologic Technologists

    WASHINGTON, March 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Two events on Capitol Hill Tuesday,
 April 4, will focus federal legislators' attention on radiologic technology:
     * Registered radiologic technologists from the American Society of
 Radiologic Technologists will meet with their home state lawmakers to persuade
 them that enacting legislation regulating and setting standards for the
 profession will improve the quality of national health care.  ASRT, the
 largest and oldest radiologic science organization, represents more than
 83,000 members.
     * General Electric will preview its latest all digital mammography system
 recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  The new technology
 will allow mammographers to obtain clearer, sharper images of breast tumors,
 speeding diagnosis and healing.
     However, obtaining reliable diagnostic images requires personnel with more
 knowledge than simply how to operate the machinery.  They need a background in
 anatomy, biology and positioning techniques.  They must be able to recognize
 abnormal tissue and judge whether additional images are appropriate and
     Federal standards for mammographers, enacted in 1994, require them to meet
 basic competency and educational requirements under the Mammography Quality
 Standards Act.  But mammography represents only 8 percent of the millions of
 radiologic procedures performed every year.  With examinations scanning
 everything from broken arms to brain tumors, everyone undergoing a radiologic
 procedure should have the same assurance that the person performing their
 procedure is qualified.  Studies show that credentialed radiologic
 technologists deliver significantly less radiation than untrained operators.
     "Our goal while in Washington is to let legislators know that thousands of
 inadequately trained, unqualified individuals perform radiologic procedures on
 American patients every day," said DuVonne Campbell, ASRT Government Relations
 Director.  "Congress needs to step in with standards to protect Americans."
     Tuesday, 78 registered technologists will ask their senators and
 representatives to support the Consumer Assurance of Radiologic Excellence
 Act.  This proposed legislation would establish minimum educational and
 credentialing standards for personnel who plan and deliver radiation therapy
 and who perform all types of medical imaging examinations, except sonography.
 Rep. Rick Lazio, R-N.Y., plans to introduce the CARE Act in the House of
 Representatives this spring.  Registered radiologic technologists are
 available for comment Monday at the Doyle Washington Hotel, 202-483-6000 or
 800-423-6953 through Donna Olmstead.

SOURCE American Society of Radiologic Technologists