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Department design


Introduction

Traditionally, the medical physicist has played a major role in radiation shielding design in the medical imaging department.  However, the medical physicist also plays a valuable role in assisting the medical imaging department, facility staff, planners, and architects in department design, including workflow.  Furthermore, the medical physicist can be the on-site presence during construction to assure that the architectural details are followed by the contractor.

References on departmental design, with the exception of radiation shielding, are limited.  Consequently, the medical physicist will have to apply training, experience, and scientific knowledge through to the process.

Important Principles

The medical physicist is the technological expert in the design of the modern medical imaging department.  The physicist must be able to assist the radiology department, facility staff, planners, and architects, in the appropriate physical layout of the department, examination rooms, and support areas for efficient workflow and radiation protection.  

The design team, of which the medical physicist is an integral part, must consider all aspects of medical imaging including imaging informatics, image displays and viewing areas, and computer facilities as part of the planning process.

As noted above, the medical physicist should monitor the construction of the facility, not only for appropriate radiation protection and shielding but as the representative of the facility to assure that all aspects of the construction are carried out according to plans and with quality as the primary goal.

Introduction to References

There are a limited number of references available on medical imaging department design.  The primary references for shielding are the NCRP and Sutton publications noted in Essential References.  Some references for department design and workflow can be found on the internet.