Quality Improvement Quality Assurance Audit for Diagnostic Radiology Improvement and Learning
- Claudia Pecoraro
QUAADRIL was set up to advise on standards and processes used for comprehensive clinical audits of diagnostic radiology services. To improve quality of such services, it focuses on clinical management and infrastructure, patient related and technical procedures, and education and research.
The importance of accurate radiological diagnosis and the possibility of increasing doses in view of technical advances in equipment and complexity of procedures drives the need for QA in diagnostic radiology. Comprehensive clinical audits represent an important component of any QA programme.
A quality audit of a programme has two principal components: a review of the policies, procedures and critical data; and a site visit to confirm that equipment and clinical processes are functioning as they should be.
The audit is carried out by a multidisciplinary team of experts, typically comprising a radiologist, a medical physicist and a radiographer. The QUAADRIL methodology gives guidance on the implementation of such audits.
Audits usually conclude with a written report that assesses the current quality of the programme and makes suggestions for improvement. Such reports are then submitted to the assessed facility. It is important to note that an audit is specifically not designed for regulatory purposes and the auditors have no power to enforce any actions based on their assessment. They can only report their findings and give recommendations, which the audited facility is free to implement or not, as they wish. Notwithstanding this, QUAADRIL audits have overall contributed to significant improvements.