National Diagnostic Reference Levels

It is imperative that healthcare organisations work continuously and collaboratively to accomplish the optimisation of patient protection. One of the fundamental aspects of the optimisation of patient protection is the diagnostic reference levels (DRLs). Diagnostic reference levels have been defined in FANR Regulation 24 on Basic Safety Standards for Facilities and Activities involving Ionizing Radiation other than in Nuclear Facilities (version 1) as ‘a level used in medical imaging to indicate whether, in routine conditions, the Dose to the patient or the quantity of Radioactive Material administered in a specified radiological procedure is unusually high or low for that procedure. Diagnostic Reference Levels are established following consultation with health competent authorities and relevant professional bodies and are based upon surveys or published values appropriate to the circumstances in the State’. These diagnostic reference levels are specific and tailored according to patient age, organ or area on the body being examined and the clinical indication so that doses are optimised for the clinical purposes of the examination. Identification and establishment of reference levels serve as a tool to monitor the practice to ensure patient protection. It will allow FANR and the regulators of the health sector in each Emirate in the UAE to address the differences in doses between healthcare facilities for a certain examination in a specific group of patients and promote practice improvements.

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