Quality Assurance means the planned and systematic actions that will produce consistently high quality images with minimum exposure of the patients and workers. Quality Assurance actions include both "Quality Control Techniques" and "Quality administration procedures".
"Quality Assurance Program" means an organized entity designed to provide quality assurance for Radiology facility.
"Quality Control Techniques" are those techniques used in the monitoring, testing, and maintenance of the components of radiology equipment.
"Quality Control Procedures" are the procedures that provide the organizational framework for the "Quality Assurance Program". They are the actions that guarantee that the monitoring techniques are uniformly performed and evaluated and that necessary corrective actions are applied in response to monitoring results.
Quality Assurance Program in radiology facility is determined by an analysis of the facility's objectives and resources and should include the following major constituents:
• Purchase specifications
• Standards for Image Quality
• Monitoring and Maintenance programs
• Installation/Operational/ Performance qualifications of equipment
• Quality Assurance Manual
Thus, a QA program should include periodic reviews of referral patterns, clinical protocols, continuing education opportunities for staff, facility inspections, equipment testing, and administrative procedures related to the purchase of supplies and billing. The ultimate goal of QA is to improve patient care.
Quality Control (QC) refers to the specific test required to ensure effective and safe equipment performance. QC tests check the performance of the equipment under routine clinical conditions, following established protocols for facilities, equipment and procedures. Quality control protocols in imaging are oriented to ensure the accuracy of the diagnosis or the intervention; while in radiation therapy, the goal is to ensure accurate delivery of the prescribed dose to the tumor in the patient and to minimize the dose to other tissues.