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Ultrasound ACR Accreditation: Roles of the Medical Physicist


S Larson

N Hangiandreou



S Larson1*, N Hangiandreou2*, (1) Univ Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, (2) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

TU-A-Salon CD-1 Tuesday 7:30:00 AM - 9:30:00 AM Room: Salon CD

Ultrasound ACR Accreditation: Roles of the Medical Physicist

Recent revisions to the American College of Radiology’s ultrasound accreditation program requirements (http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/Accreditation/US/Requirements.pdf) may alter the way many ultrasound practices view quality control (QC) in ultrasound. Unlike the previous ultrasound QC recommendations, the new requirements consist of multiple components which define a comprehensive QC program. The main components of the QC program are acceptance testing, the annual survey, semiannual (or preferably quarterly) routine QC tests, and preventive maintenance. A comparison to ACR QC requirements in other modalities suggests that QC should be a team effort, with the QC program design and oversight, acceptance testing and annual survey being the responsibility of the medical physicist. The routine QC would be the responsibility of an imaging technologist, and preventive maintenance would be the responsibility of a service engineer. The best approach to meeting the new ACR ultrasound requirements is a team approach, with all of these professionals working in concert to create and sustain an effective QC program. The ACR strongly recommends that the QC program be supervised by a qualified medical physicist. As a result, we expect physicists to be asked to play a major role in the design and supervision of these QC programs.

The new ACR accreditation program requirements provide no specifics regarding acceptance testing, except that that it should include the annual tests in order to provide baseline data. For the annual survey, 7 tasks are specifically required: physical/mechanical inspection, uniformity/artifact survey, geometric accuracy, system sensitivity, scanner display performance, primary interpretation display performance, and evaluation of the QC program. Two additional annual tasks are optional: contrast resolution and spatial resolution. The routine QC tasks include: physical/mechanical inspection, uniformity/artifact evaluation, scanner display performance, primary interpretation display performance, and geometric accuracy (the last is only for mechanically scanned transducers). The specifics of how to perform these tests and analyze the results are not provided, and are left in the hands of the person designing the QC program.
The purpose of this session is to provide medical physicists with the tools they need to meet the new ACR requirements for ultrasound accreditation. The first part of this session will cover how to perform an annual survey of ultrasound equipment. The second part will address the physicist’s role in implementing and supervising a continuous ultrasound QC program.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the new ACR requirements for ultrasound quality control and the roles of the medical physicist.
2. Learn the basics of how to perform an annual survey of an ultrasound system.
3. Understand the physicist’s role in implementing and supervising the routine QC testing process.


Handouts


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