TG151: Radiographic System Quality Control
K Hulme1*, G Arbique2*, (1) The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, (2) UT Southwestern Medical Ctr at Dallas, Dallas, TXMO-A-116-1 Monday 8:00AM - 8:55AM Room: 116
Quality control (QC) in medical imaging is often viewed as a series of infrequent, detailed evaluations of a piece of medical imaging equipment by a qualified medical physicist (QMP). The day-to-day operational process is largely neglected absent regulatory or accreditation requirements. However, QC should be viewed as an ongoing process that occurs on an image-by-image basis. Ongoing QC was inherent in the screen-film imaging workflow, where rejected image rates were calculated by counting rejected films and improperly exposed films resulted in images that were too dark or light and were repeated out of necessity, and the rejected films counted. During the early years of the shift to digital imaging in radiography, ongoing QC was largely abandoned, owing to both a perceived lack of need and difficulty in performing ongoing QC with early digital imaging systems, which lacked standardized exposure indicators and tools for counting rejected images.
The QC process involves key personnel in the imaging department, including the radiologist, radiologic technologist, and QMP. The radiologist administers and oversees the QC program, which is carried out by the radiologic technologist. The radiologic technologists collects and analyzes data, and results that are outside the acceptance levels for the QC program are investigated, and corrective action taken to bring these results back to an acceptable level. The QMP consults with the radiologist in the design and implementation of the QC program, works with the technologist to triage problems, and carefully evaluates the imaging equipment on a regular basis for proper calibration, function, and compliance with applicable regulations. The continued need for ongoing QC in digital radiography has been highlighted in the scientific literature, and Task Group 151 was charged with recommending consistency tests designed to be performed by a QMP, or a radiologic technologist under the direction of a QMP, to identify problems with an imaging system that need further evaluation by a QMP, including a fault tree to define actions that need to be taken when certain fault conditions are identified.
The focus of the final report of TG 151 was the ongoing QC process, including rejected image analysis, ongoing exposure analysis, and artifact identification. These three QC tasks are vital for the optimal operation of a department performing digital radiography.
1. Learn methods for performing rejected image analysis in digital radiography, including learning trends and patterns that are common
2. Learn methods for performing ongoing exposure analysis in digital radiography, including learning trends and patterns that are common
3. Understand how to incorporate ongoing QC into your radiography department