Quality control in radiology is the process of certifying equipment’s safety and getting it ready to perform according to plan. Accredited clinics use QC as the virtual picture of equipment performance, in this case, a CT Scan machine, to verify that it agrees with set requirements.
It covers things like the Acceptance test and how to maintain imaging equipment for effective use, evaluates cover around accredited x-ray clinics, and measures processing elements.
QC is built in the Quality Assurance-QA program (QA programs are structured measures to certify that a result will meet the given quality requirements and be fit for use) and QA techniques. QA techniques are used in the testing and maintenance of the essential components of a CT Scan machine.
QC program’s main objective is to certify that the diagnosis is accurate and, at the same time, minimize the radiation dose to patients. To achieve this goal in a diagnostic radiology clinic,
The following QC procedures must be put into account:
The Acceptance Test and Commissioning Test
This test is done on new equipment to certify that a diagnostic radiology clinic gets exact equipment, and its performance is, as stated in the purchase contract. It is done in 2 phases:
- Once the installation of a new machine is done.
- About a month or two before the warranty expiry date.
Phase two is completed to confirm that the equipment satisfies the vendor’s specifications during purchase and before the equipment’s warranty expires. This gives enough room to point out any problem with the equipment, notify the vendor, and resolve it at no extra cost.
On the other hand, the Commissioning test is a measure done to get all the necessary information from the equipment for clinical use. This test gives the core guidelines for all the quality control in radiology procedures.
The Constancy Tests
Constancy tests are tests done at specific intervals to look into some key components of the equipment. Reported recurrence for the constancy control might vary between a plus/minus 30 days.
The Status Tests
These tests take longer intervals, like after every six months or annually. They are performed to determine a CT Scan machine’s condition, especially after it has been in operation for a long time. The aim is to identify parts that may have been broken in the process and replace them immediately.
The Performance Tests
These are tests done on a CT Scan machine after an agreed period. The performance test’s main aim is to verify whether a CT Scan machine is consistently dependable and is safe to use as intended by the vendor. It can be at the beginning of its use, regularly, or throughout its lifetime.
To Verify Radiation Protection -RP
This is a process done to ensure humans are protected against the risks brought about by excessive exposure to radiation without limiting its beneficial functions to the body,
To certify that all the corrections based on the previous QC procedures results from the tests above are done.
QC measurements without proper documentation of corrective actions and follow-ups are not sufficient. This makes the above QA procedure very important in the radiation field. These procedures provide the organizational skeleton for the QA program.
Why Quality Control in Radiology is Important
QC Improves Clinical Results
QC is a process that tests a CT Scan machine, identifies errors, and resolves them before it is used on patients, as seen in the procedure above. This process relieves the diagnostic radiology facility from the fear of patient misdiagnosis, delays in treatment or administration of the wrong treatment, and increased costs associated with retesting, thus improving its results.
Solves Safety Problems
Quality control also identifies and solves errors associated with safety before administering the required dose to patients.
It Maintains Standard of Care
This refers to a diagnostic and treatment procedure that a radiologist should follow for a certain type of illness. Without proper measures in place, healthcare providers are bound to make mistakes, no matter how smart or qualified they are. To avoid such errors, it is paramount we set up rules and regulations that will ensure they adhere to the set standards to maintain the standard of care.
Reduces Patient Radiation Dose
The term ‘Effective dose’ is used by doctors when referring to radiation’s risk to the entire patient’s body. The risks include the possibility of developing cancer later in the future. Patients need to look for imaging facilities that are accredited and radiologists who are board-certified to increase chances for the best study at the lowest dose possible.
Patients are better off having a needed imaging study than avoiding the modest radiation associated with it.
Satisfies Government Regulations
Quality control in radiology follows the government’s set rules and guidelines, thus ensuring the equipment’s accuracy and safety before use.
All said and done QC program is a vital process in radiology and must be performed on all imaging machines before they are used. This will ensure both the efficiency of the equipment and the safety of patients.