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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 7 Projects

Automating Dose Badge Distribution Tracking

George Morris

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

By law any individual working with/around ionising radiation must wear a Thermoluminescent Dosimeter (TLD). These TLDs once processed show how much radiation an individual has been exposed to over a period of time. On average these TLDs are changed bi-monthly and sent off to be processed.  If one of these TLDs are not returned within the specified time period, the department responsible for returning the TLD is fined £31.80. In large departments it is possible that a significant number of these TLDs are not returned by individuals, resulting in a large fine to be paid by the department. To counter this a system whereby the exchanging of these TLDs could be monitored, was needed.

Project Aims:

  • Reduce the Number of Unreturned TLDs by Radiographers
  • Reduce the Time spent by Radiographers Sorting TLDs
  • Accurately Track Timings of Returns to Aid Dose Breach Investigations

Project Approach:

Over a 14 month period the spreadsheet was used to track the exchange of TLDs by individuals working in the University Hospital of Wales Radiology department. This study included a cohort of 92 Radiologists, 93 Radiographers and 41 Radiology Department Practitioners (RDAs). At the end of the study the data from the spreadsheet was compared against the official return statistics provided by RPS Velindre to assess whether the number of TLDs scanned into the spreadsheet impacted the total number of TLDs returned.

Project Outcomes:

The data shows that the percentage of unreturned badges is closely linked to the number of TLDs not scanned into the spreadsheet. The greater the percentage of TlLDs scanned the higher the percentage of returns.

On the other hand the data suggests that this system has not improved the overall return rate of TLDs within the department.

When analysing the fine reports from RPS Velindre the fines to the department for Radiographer TLDs has dropped by nearly £400

Project Impact:

The overall impact of this project has been a decrease in fines paid by the department, a decrease in radiographer time taken to arrange and log the TLDs and increase awareness of returning TLDs on time.

The 6 monthly fines have dropped from a maximum of £733 to a low of £237. If this trend continues along with an increased interaction with the system then there is potential for these fines to reduce even further.

View the project poster and slides from the Cohort 7 Exemplar Showcase