Quality Assurance And Quality Control in radiology

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Quality Management

Quality Assurance And Quality Control

-Goals of Quality Assurance Program

“…to ensure accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment at the minimum dose to the patient and staff.”

-“Information obtained from X-ray equipment must be of utmost quality to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.”

-“The consequence of poor quality diagnostic information may be incorrect diagnosis resulting in repeat radiographic procedures, unnecessary radiation doses to the patient, delayed or improper patient treatment and increased cost.”

Quality Assurance And Quality Control

Costs of QA Program

1.Personnel – staff required to perform tests and record results

2.Test equipment – phantoms and other specific equipment will need to be purchased (see #4)

3.Test images – 2 to 5% of films used by a facility for sensitometry, phantom imaging, and equipment testing

4.External organizations – facilities may choose to have an external organization do all QC testing

Quality Assurance And Quality Control

Benefits of QA Program

1.Film and processing chemicals – a decrease in the number of retakes = a reduction in the number of films and processing chemicals used

2.Equipment – reduction in retakes = less wear and tear on equipment also problems detected early are generally less costly to repair

3.Patient flow – reduction in repeats coupled with better image quality will allow for efficient use of time and greater patient throughput

Quality Assurance And Quality Control

Implementation of QA Program

1.Policies and guidelines development i.Radiology personnel

ii.Policies for minimizing radiation exposure to x-ray operators and staff

iii.Policies for minimizing radiation exposure to patients

iv.Guidelines for equipment quality control testing

v.Policies for acquisition of new x-ray imaging equipment

vi.Policy for record keeping

Quality Assurance And Quality Control

2.Establishment of quality control procedures

 i.Equipment operation

-Films and processing must meet manufacturers’ speed and contrast values

-CR and DR imaging systems must be properly calibrated with the x-ray systems

ii.Baseline performance

-Baseline values must be established when the equipment is operating properly; these values will be used to diagnose any changes in equipment performance

iii.Reference test image

-Made by using the x-ray equipment, image processing system and quality control phantom and will be used for comparison of other quality control test images

vi..Result evaluation and action levels ———-Determination of acceptable or unacceptable limits of equipment operation along with a list of corrective actions that may be required

Quality Assurance And Quality Control

Establishment of Administrative Procedures

1.Responsibility

-Level of responsibilities and involvement of the owner and staff must be clearly identified, communicated and understood

2.Record keeping

-Clear documentation of information gathered and readily available for evaluation

3.Evaluation of data

-Recorded data should be evaluated immediately and necessary action taken

4. Limits of acceptability of data

-Upper and lower limits of acceptability must be determined and documented; when limits are reached corrective actions must be taken

5.Testing frequency

A balance must be reached between cost of testing, disruption to the operation of the facility and maintenance of quality

6.Corrective actions

-A decision tree system should be developed to provide guidance when equipment performance deviates beyond the set limits

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