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Resource management (NM specific)


MRTs manage nuclear medicine department resources to ensure consistent service to patients


+ Importance of resource management

  • The resources employed in the nuclear medicine department (human, equipment, radiopharmaceuticals and other supplies) are costly and should be efficiently managed to avoid waste.
  • Waste caused by inefficient use of resources may impact the quality of patient care provided by the department through:
    • Schedule overruns and delays
    • Higher operating costs

+ Bookings

  • Efficient scheduling in the nuclear medicine department takes into account the availability of staff, equipment, radiopharmaceuticals and other supplies.1
    • Block bookings are used to group patients undergoing a common study, or using the same equipment
    • Less common studies are performed in a block booking (specific day(s) of the week)
    • Studies are arranged to minimize collimator changes


  • Patients undergoing multiple procedures have their bookings coordinated to ensure optimal results and minimize delays.
  • Booking slots are flexible to accommodate for variations in the time required for procedures, and arranged to minimize the loss of scanning time due to gaps between appointments.

+ Radiopharmaceuticals

  • Nuclear medicine departments make the most efficient use of their radiopharmaceutical resources.
  • Kits are made up to expected requirements, as opposed to standard activity.
  • MRTs are aware of the requirements for specific radiopharmaceuticals:
    • Radiopharmaceuticals that cannot be made with first elution
    • Radiopharmaceuticals that need fresh elution
    • Generator growth curve
    • Kit requirements (min/max, patient demands/load)
    • Kit expiration post-reconstitution
    • Eluate expiration


  • Radiopharmaceutical procurement and management is important for efficiency:
    • Bulk doses (rather than unit doses) are ordered for common studies
    • Unit doses are ordered for infrequently required radiopharmaceuticals
    • Appropriate size generator is ordered (less expensive)
    • Radiopharmaceuticals are stored as per manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid degradation

+ General supplies

  • Nuclear medicine departments stock the appropriate amount of supplies based on their requirements.
    • Requirements are anticipated based on recent supply use


  • Departments should refrain from stockpiling supplies.
    • Stockpiling can lead to excess requirement for storage space, the risk of items expiring and of accumulating unused items which would incur costs1
    • Techniques might change making the stockpiled supplies obsolete
    • Older supplies are used first to avoid loss due to expiry dates


  • Prior to a procedure, supplies are readied but left in their packaging (e.g., syringes, needles, etc) until they are required for use.

+ References

  1. European Association of Nuclear Medicine. Best Practice in Nuclear Medicine. Part 1: A Technologist's Guide. Available at: Accessed March 20, 2013.

Related guidelines



October 16, 2013


Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists
85 Albert St, Suite 1000, Ottawa, ON, K1P 6A4
phone: 613 234-0012 / 800 463-9729
fax: 613 234-1097