The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) Foundation and Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc have awarded Memorial Hospital of Converse County and Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center its inaugural Safety First grants to improve technologist safety during diagnostic imaging procedures. Launched earlier this year by the ASRT Foundation and Toshiba, the grant program awards two ASRT members up to $7,000 each for the implementation of a radiologic technology safety program or idea that creates a safer work environment. The two winning facilities will then implement the program and share best practices.

“Safety goes beyond lowering radiation dose and includes the entire imaging process,” said Satrajit Misra, vice president, marketing, Toshiba. “We developed this new grant program to help technologists and their institutions establish programs that meet the goals of the Triple Aim by improving individual and population-wide care, furthering Toshiba’s commitment to focus on putting its customers first by providing 360 degrees of coverage, guidance, and expertise.”

Memorial Hospital of Converse County used the grant to purchase a RaySafe i2 system, which will provide the facility with real-time monitoring of ionized radiation and measure exposure levels of radiation for staff members in the operating room. The hospital reports that the new equipment will help provide personal radiation exposure data and allow staff to immediately change behavior in order to minimize their radiation dose.

Cook County North Shore Hospital and Care Center used the grant to assist in purchasing an E-Z Mat and an x-ray imaging chair. Both pieces of equipment will help technologists at Cook County reduce the amount of time needed to move and position patients, which increases the safety involved in all related procedures and exams.

“The needs of this year’s recipient facilities are considerably different, but their commitment to keeping their radiologic technologists safe is the same,” said Steve J. Hardy, MS, RT, chairman of the board, ASRT Foundation. “Patient safety is something that all medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals are passionate about, and we are thrilled that we could help contribute to this safety need.”

For more information on the Safety First grant program visit the ASRT or Toshiba websites.