• State Regulations and Legislation

Pennsylvania Introduces Licensure Bill

Jul 25, 2017

Rep. Bryan Cutler, a former medical imaging professional, has introduced a patient safety measure in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that establishes licensure standards for nonphysician personnel who perform medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy treatments and creates the Pennsylvania Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Board of Examiners.

Pennsylvania is one of the few states without comprehensive licensure standards to assess basic qualifications of medical imaging or radiation therapy personnel. House Bill 1545 ensures that standards are consistent in all areas of medical imaging and radiation therapy practice. Radiologic technologists employ ionizing radiation during medical imaging procedures and radiation therapy treatments. This type of medical radiation can be extremely dangerous if administered incorrectly, but, when properly educated, certified and registered radiologic technologists can expertly keep radiation dosages as low as possible and still perform high-quality procedures.

Current technical personnel standards in the state of Pennsylvania can vary widely based on the type of medical examination or even the type of facility in which the exam or treatment is performed, often leading to inconsistent quality of care and potential lapses in patient safety. 

Medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel operate some of the most sophisticated and highly technical equipment used in health care today. These professionals are responsible for radiation protection measures, patient positioning, imaging techniques using ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and equipment protocols. By establishing a medical imaging and radiation therapy board of examiners, any incidents related to medical imaging or radiation therapy patient care can be reported and investigated.

According to Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists President Helen Bradley, R.T.(R)(VI), HB 1545 puts the focus on patient health and safety. “This bill ensures that patients needing medical imaging or radiation therapy care in all health care settings receive consistent and high-quality treatments performed by personnel who have met the state’s licensure standards. Current standards for medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel are scattered throughout state statutes and regulations, and there is no consistency in how or in which situations or settings these laws are applied.”

The Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists, Philadelphia Society of Radiologic Technologists and the American Society of Radiologic Technologists strongly support consistent licensure standards for all personnel who perform medical imaging or radiation therapy examinations.

Rep. Cutler, from Lancaster County, is the Pennsylvania House Majority Whip.

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