Regulations, guidelines and recommendations from the local authorities (in Finland STUK and Valvira) define an important part of the radiation safety issues relevant to healthcare providers. The instructions require, among other things, that the operator shall be responsible for organizing – in addition to a comprehensive quality assurance for activities involving radiation exposure – also an in-house control plan where the whole imaging chain is documented and controlled. In addition to issues related to quality assurance and radiation safety, the plan should also cover requirements concerning staff skills and development needs.
Staff skills throughout the imaging chain play an important role. Personnel change is typically a situation where gaps in the knowledge base can occur. It is vital that the new employee is trained as quickly as possible to proper use of the equipment and in-house quality plan. Compliance with the quality assurance guidelines ensures staff and patients radiation safety. The user manuals and quality assurance instructions provided by the device manufacturer should be known to all and easy to find. Trained staff will be able to use the equipment properly, understand how good image quality is achieved, and how to deal with problem situations: analyze what has caused the fault – is it device or user based – and when it is necessary to contact manufacturer’s or local dealer’s service center.
Careful compliance with the in-house control plan can minimize the downtime due to device malfunction. Not to mention the harm caused to the patient; initiation of treatment is delayed because the radiological examination could not be done. By being able to have confidence in the clinical results produced by your imaging system, you will also ensure the best care to the patient. Investments in in-house quality control, regular quality assurance tests and staff training will pay off; you offer safe and quality care to you patients, increase the lifetime of the device and ensure a safe working environment to your staff.
An important part of quality assurance is good image quality. It consists of many different components: technical performance and quality of the imaging device, exposure values, patient related issues like anatomy and age, patient positioning, employee expertise and image viewing conditions (ambient light, display performance). Consistently good image quality can be achieved with good guidance and training. This is where Imaqen can help you: at our courses, we teach how good image quality is achieved both in traditional 2D imaging as well as in sophisticated Cone Beam CT imaging.
Imaqen provides unbiased imaging training for dental, head and neck and ENT regions, quality assurance and radiation protection guidance. We also provide application training and quality assurance services quickly and cost-effectively. We are a manufacturer-independent partner to healthcare professionals.
Sign up to one of our imaging courses today to begin your journey to better quality.