WSR 13-09-041



[ Filed April 11, 2013, 4:31 p.m. ]

     Subject of Possible Rule Making: TITLE 246 WAC, establishing requirements in a new chapter for the safety and performance of computed tomography (CT) diagnostic x-ray systems.

     Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 70.98.080.

     Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Rules may be necessary to establish requirements in a new chapter for the safe use of CT diagnostic x-ray systems. The use of CT technology has grown in recent years in number of units, frequency of prescribed scans, and most importantly, the amount of radiation used. The department of health (department) may need to develop rules that will reduce radiation exposure to the public and help prevent overexposure incidents that have been in the news nationwide over the last few years.

     Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Medicare requires all nonhospital facilities using CT be accredited by either the American College of Radiology (ACR) or the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). The department anticipates developing state regulations to be compatible with the ACR and the IAC accreditation requirements.

     Process for Developing New Rule: The department will use a collaborative rule-making approach. The department will ask staff from major medical institutions, including the University of Washington and Swedish Medical Center, small hospitals, and medical health physicists to participate on an advisory committee to develop rule recommendations. The department will keep stakeholders informed of rule development through letters, postings on the department's web site, e-mails, and mailings. Before adopting final rule language, the department will hold an informational session and public hearing on the proposed rules.

     Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Michelle Austin, Rules Coordinator, Office of Radiation Protection, P.O. Box 47827, Olympia, WA 98504-7827, or phone (360) 236-3250, or by e-mail The department will engage stakeholders through an advisory group and by providing the draft rule for informal and formal review and comment to all interested parties and stakeholders. The department will also keep stakeholders informed through the web, mailings, and e-mails.

April 11, 2013

Mary C. Selecky