Global quality imaging: emerging issues.
Quality imaging may be described as "a timely access to and delivery of integrated and appropriate procedures, in a safe and responsive practice, and a prompt delivery of an accurately interpreted report by capable personnel in an efficient, effective, and sustainable manner." For this article, radiation safety is considered as one of the key quality elements. The stakeholders are the drivers of quality imaging. These include those that directly provide or use imaging procedures and others indirectly supporting the system. Imaging is indispensable in health care, and its use has greatly expanded worldwide. Globalization, consumer sophistication, communication and technological advances, corporatization, rationalization, service outsourcing, teleradiology, workflow modularization, and commoditization are reshaping practice. This article defines the emerging issues; an earlier article in the May 2011 issue described possible improvement actions. The issues that could threaten the quality use of imaging for all countries include workforce shortage; increased utilization, population radiation exposure, and cost; practice changes; and efficiency drive and budget constraints. In response to these issues, a range of quality improvement measures, strategies, and actions are used to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. The 3 measures are procedure justification, optimization of image quality and radiation protection, and error prevention. The development and successful implementation of such improvement actions require leadership, collaboration, and the active participation of all stakeholders to achieve the best outcomes that we all advocate.
Lau, LS; Pérez, MR; Applegate, KE; Rehani, MM; Ringertz, HG; George, R
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