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Important factors to consider before embarking on a radiation shielding project

Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | October 19, 2020
From the October 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Shield success hinges on door technology
In a perfect world, a shield would be one unbroken and seamless guard. Of course, if that were the case then there would be no way to get in or out of the room. That’s why doors are of critical importance when designing a suite that will use ionizing radiation — particularly a radiotherapy facility, where much higher doses are going to be used.

In the past couple of years, shielding companies have come out with a variety of new high-tech solutions to improve shielding function around entryways.

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For the very cutting-edge facilities offering MR-guided linear accelerator cancer treatment,
NELCO offers a unique door system that provides shielding for both MR imaging (radiofrequency) and radiation. Prior to the NELCO DUO Door, facilities needed two shielding door systems in these rooms and had to account for other design challenges.

“The DUO door eliminates the maze and utilizes a direct entry vault, creating a better patient experience and increasing efficiency for the technicians, while improving patient throughput by shortening the path to access the equipment,” said LeBlanc.

This past year, NELCO also released a new generation of its Guardian Proton Doors, which ensure the safety and functionality of doors in the proton therapy setting. The systems feature major mechanical, electrical and safety enhancements to the motion and drive systems of the doors.

Global Partners' Touchscreen Access Control Door
“The door system is one of the facilities' most important pieces of equipment — just as important as the proton equipment,” said LeBlanc. “If either isn't working, you can't treat patients, and maintaining maximum uptime is always a priority.”

For linear accelerator facilities, Global Partners recently launched its Touchscreen Access Control Door, which provides a new touchscreen user interface that integrates into existing or new sliding and swinging doors.

“Customers didn’t know when to service their doors, so they would wait until the doors break and then call us to fix it instead of annually scheduling service,” said Bordeman. “With this, they can monitor their door and know what’s going on in real-time.”

This product alerts the user when maintenance needs to be scheduled and keeps a history of all the maintenance that has been done on the door, including the date, time and number of cycles. Users can also lock the doors using a keypad that’s built into the touchscreen display.

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