CT Protocol Manager software

  • Software to improve accuracy and efficiency of CT exam protocol review




Computed Tomography (CT) scanners are equipped with “exam protocols,” which are presets of many settings that control the acquisition and processing of CT images. A single CT scanner may have anywhere from 100 to 200 exam protocols, each with 75 to 300 different settings.

Periodic protocol review has become an important component of radiology departments’ quality control programs, as ensuring use of correct protocols can decrease the risk of patient injury and increase the consistency of CT image quality. Protocol review is done by a team consisting, at a minimum, of a radiologist, a medical physicist, and a CT technologist. The large volume of protocols, numerous settings per protocol, and varying names and nature of settings for different vendors makes manual review labor‐intensive, error‐prone, and costly.

David M. Gauntt, Ph.D., is a medical physicist who assists in managing CT protocols at UAB Medical Center. Dr. Gauntt is directly involved in protocol review of CT scanners and has developed the CT Protocol Manager software to solve these problems. The software can read protocols from CT scanners and present them in a model-independent format, simplifying the job of optimization and review. The software can then compare the protocols from the scanners to the information in the reviewed protocol documents, ensuring that no errors were made when the protocol information was input into the scanner. It is a self-contained program that can be installed on any Windows or Apple computer equipped with Java, and it can import protocol files through a USB flash drive or from any file server connected to the computer.

Potential Applications

  • As of 2017, the United States has 44.33 CT scanners per one million people.
  • Accrediting organizations such as ACR and The Joint Commission are increasingly emphasizing the importance of periodic review of CT protocols to ensure consistency of CT examinations.
  • There is a need for CT protocol management software that can manage protocol review accurately in a vendor- and scanner model-independent manner for both new and legacy models.

Contact Information

Name: Natalie A Cox

Email: ncox@uab.edu

Phone: (205) 996-7578