Ongoing quality control in digital radiography: Report of AAPM Imaging Physics Committee Task Group 151

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Abstract

Quality control (QC) in medical imaging is an ongoing process and not just a series of infrequent evaluations of medical imaging equipment. The QC process involves designing and implementing a QC program, collecting and analyzing data, investigating results that are outside the acceptance levels for the QC program, and taking corrective action to bring these results back to an acceptable level. The QC process involves key personnel in the imaging department, including the radiologist, radiologic technologist, and the qualified medical physicist (QMP). The QMP performs detailed equipment evaluations and helps with oversight of the QC program, the radiologic technologist is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the QC program. The continued need for ongoing QC in digital radiography has been highlighted in the scientific literature. The charge of this task group was to recommend consistency tests designed to be performed by a medical physicist or a radiologic technologist under the direction of a medical physicist to identify problems with an imaging system that need further evaluation by a medical physicist, including a fault tree to define actions that need to be taken when certain fault conditions are identified. The focus of this final report is the ongoing QC process, including rejected image analysis, exposure analysis, and artifact identification. These QC tasks are vital for the optimal operation of a department performing digital radiography.

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