Answer to Question #11736 Submitted to "Ask the Experts"
Category: Instrumentation and Measurements
The following question was answered by an expert in the appropriate field:
My workplace is looking to purchase dosimetry software for recording dose and printing out simple dose reports. Which software would you recommend for this?
There are various software programs available for particular dosimetry applications; e.g., internal dosimetry, medical dosimetry (therapy or diagnostic doses to patients or to occupational workers), and dosimetry for recording external personnel doses and possible internal doses for routine applications in many facilities. I assume that the latter category is likely the one of interest to you.
If you are using a vendor to supply and read the dosimeters, such vendors use in-house software to record and maintain doses. In some cases they may also have software available for use by customers of their service; this is probably most likely for users of electronic dosimetry, although other vendors may also offer software. In some cases the available software is tied to the use of the particular dosimetry supplied by the vendor. In any case, I would recommend you begin by putting together a listing of items important to you that a vendor's software program provides. It might include things like as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) reports, absent badge estimations, etc. You could then send that to a variety of vendors or contact the one you currently use to inquire whether they have anything available. At the end of this note is a template used by an organization to assess vendor capabilities. You could add your particular needs to this. This template addresses only external dosimetry needs.
I have listed a few instances below of providers of dosimetry software for record keeping and legal purposes. These examples are not presented as exclusive providers nor as specific recommendations on the part of the Health Physics Society. Some may be more restrictive than you might require, especially if specific dosimeter systems are favored, and some may be more inclusive than you need, including a number of other elements of radiation safety besides dosimetry. I recommend that you do not commit to purchasing any software without first discussing your specific needs with the vendor and getting assurance that such needs will be met by the software.
If you are concerned with both external and internal doses, the software will naturally have to accommodate these. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Guide 8.7 (Rev. 2) contains detailed discussions of the requirements for recording and maintaining dosimetry records for occupational workers. If your records are to be used as legal records, they must meet particular requirements as discussed in this Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) guide. It provides sufficient detail that, if so inclined, you could develop your own software using existing database or spreadsheet software that is commonly available.
Template for Assessing Dosimetry Software Vendors
George Chabot, CHP, PhD