Hospital systems such as Intermountain Healthcare and the Hospital Corporation of America are implementing programs to monitor and report patients' cumulative medical radiation exposure from various procedures, including nuclear medicine scans and interventional exams. Although the benefits of imaging generally outweigh risks, Dr. Keith White, medical director of imaging services for Intermountain, says it's important to monitor exposure. However, experts note that exposure data are imperfect, and it's difficult to say how much is too much. Rather, they say it's important to assess the value of potentially life-saving tests on an individual basis.

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