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 necessary. 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