Department of Nuclear Medicine – PET Center
Head of Department: Assoc. Prof. Otakar Bělohlávek, MD, CSc.
Activities of the Department:
- Functional scintigraphic imaging, including PET/CTI
- Immunoanalytical laboratory testing methods
Organizational units of the Department:
- Nuclear Medicine outpatient unit
- Immunoanalytical laboratory
- Radiopharmaceutical laboratory
- In 2017, the work productivity in the field of PET diagnostics was again quite high as compared to other domestic and foreign centres, reaching almost 7,500 examinations annually. The Department uses two hybrid Biograph PET/CT scanners (Siemens). One of them was replaced within a record-taking term at the turn of July and August, so the production failure of one scanner lasted only for 3 weeks, which the operation of the other scanner was not affected at all. At the same time a radiopharmaceutical dosing station was replaced and a radiopharmacetical application station was installed. Due to opening three PET/CT units in the covered territory, the availability of the examination has increased and the waiting time has shortened to several days. Despite this fact, the historical maximum number of examinations of the previous year was exceeded. The examination method for dementia patients has been fully developed both for health indications, and especially within clinical studies for brain beta-amyloid. The Department became known for this diagnostics internationally.
- Conventional scintigraphy diagnostics has stagnated for three years after its overall long-term trend of decreasing interest in this examination. The interest in bone scintigraphy has been further decreasing as it has been gradually replaced with PET/CT diagnostics, in contrast, the development of urology in the hospital has had a positive effect on a higher number of kidney scintigraphies. A long-lasting failure of the ergometer at the Department of Cardiology has had a negative effect on the offer of myocardial perfusion examinations.
- After 4 years of continual growth of interest in immunoanalysis detections, it decreased by 6%. This was partly affected by restructuring the provision of prenatal diagnostics in the Prague area, party by a reduction of the Department of Gynaecology and the endocrinology outpatient unit, any partly by overall lower number of requested laboratory examinations across the hospital. Cooled centrifuges were replaced in the laboratory. The results of regular independent interlaboratory inspection and accreditation by the Czech Accreditation Institute (ISO 15189:2013) document a traditionally high quality of the laboratory in the long run.
- The personnel situation at the Department was stabilised; the departure two non-medical technicians to the General Teaching Hospital was immediately compensated for by the return of two non-medical technicians from the Proton Centre in Prague, where they had previously left for. An employee returning after the maternity leave filled the position of the head lab technician who retired.
- Tender procedures for supply of kits with analysers for the immunoanalysis laboratory were not completed last year due to death of the supplier of the laboratory information system related to analysers. The cooperation with the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology and Immunology in the preparation of the tender for a new laboratory system has been established.
- The Department as a whole has an established certified system of quality management pursuant to ISO 9001 and a supervisory audit was successfully completed in the middle of the year. The Department, as part of the hospital, follows international JCI accreditation standards.
Educational and other specialized activities
Study stays for a number of experts are organized at the Department and consultation services as part of the model project of the International Atomic Energy Agency (AIEA) are provided.
Development perspectives for 2018
- The plan is to make use of all technologies installed in the Department in the scope defined by reimbursements received from health care insurance companies. Above the framework of this assignment, examinations for numerous clinical studies will be further carried out. Emphasis will be put on quality and efficiency of the services provided. It is expected that waiting times for PET/CT will be slightly prolonged due to gradual extension of indications for examinations.
- A tender procedure for laboratory information system is expected to be announced, and subsequently renewal of the tender for supplying kits and analysers for the immunoanalysis laboratory. Should the tender for supply of material for immunoanalysis be successfully completed, a principal change in the configuration of the work of the laboratory will have to be made, requiring enormous efforts of the staff in order to set up new examination procedures.
- A reduction in working time of one of the physicians related to her retirement age is compensated for by a return of another physician from maternity leave. However, in April, it is expected that another physician will leave for maternity leave, which will result in a significant burden of the remaining physicians; a physician has been actively searched to complete the team.
- A supervised audit of the entire Department in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 is planned for middle of the year. At the end of the year, the start of reconstruction of the PET centre building is considered. Although details of it remain unknown, numerous negativ influences which will need to be overcome can be expected.