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Quality Control

The quality control measures used to evaluate performance and outcome, it deals with
instrumentation and equipment. Quality control is more tangible and obvious than quality assurance. A
program of quality control is designed to ensure that the radiologist is provided with an optimal image
produced through good equipment performance and resulting in minimal patient radiation exposure.
. . . . . QUALITY CONTROL, all actions necessary to control and verify the performance of
equipment; part of quality assurance. – Bushong
Quality control begins with the x-ray imaging system used to produce the image and continues with
the routine evaluation of image-processing facilities. Quality control concludes with a dedicated
analysis of each image to identify deficiencies and artifacts (along with their cause) and to minimize
reexamination.
Each new piece of radiologic equipment, whether it is x-ray producing or image processing, should be
acceptance tested before it is applied clinically. The acceptance test must be done by someone other
than the manufacturer’s representative because it is designed to show that the equipment is
performing within the manufacture’s specifications and is producing an acceptable patient’s radiation
dose. With use, the performance characteristics of all such items of equipment change and may
deteriorate. Consequently, periodic monitoring of equipment performance is required. On most
systems, annual monitoring is satisfactory, unless a major component such as an x-ray tube has been
replaced. When periodic monitoring shows that equipment is not performing as it was intended to
perform, maintenance or repair is necessary. Preventive maintenance usually makes repair
unnecessary.
As with QA, QC requires a team effort, but QC is principally the responsibility of the medical physicist.
In private clinics and hospitals, the medical physicist establishes the QC programs and oversees its
implementation at a frequency determined by the activity of the institution.
AN ACCEPTABLE QUALITY CONTROL PROGRAM CONSISTS OF THREE STEPS:
1

Acceptance testing,

2

Routine performance monitoring, and

3

Maintenance

QUALITY CONTROL is the aspect of quality assurance that monitors technical equipment to
maintained quality standard. The concept of quality control is rooted in the need to stabilize the
various equipment components of the radiographic imaging chain. From incoming line current through
x-ray production to the processing of the radiograph, erratic equipment performance causes repeat
radiographs and unnecessary patient exposure to radiation. The term quality is sometimes used to
describe the evaluation of individual radiographs according to acceptance limits standards. It is
probably better to think of this image evaluation process as film critiquing or quality checking rather
than quality control, although the quality control process is certainly a critical part of the critique
evaluation.
Technical expertise will not ensure success in radiography unless the equipment is reliable. Because
radiographic equipment changes as it ages, there are often great differences between the results
obtained on one unit and those obtained on another. The same unit cannot be counted on to produce
exactly the same beam for the radiographer to control and analyze unless it is properly checked on a
regular basis. The system of checks to accomplish a measure of consistence in beam output is the
quality control.

An effective program cannot be achieved simply by monitoring equipment performance. It is important that quality control be seen as a method of controlling the radiographic image from start to finish. or excellence. Richard Carlton. Every patient expects to receive the highest possible quality. To do this requires a series of procedures. . No one wants to be exposed to ionizing radiation by a radiographer incapable of producing excellent images. although this is unquestionably the most involved step. Principles of Radiographic Imaging.Ensuring the quality of radiographic image is a prime responsibility of the radiologic technologist. from a medical facility. of service. The thought process preceding equipment purchase is critical. Unfortunately. some quality control begins with the last step instead of the first.