QUALITY ASSURANCE AND QUALITY CONTROL
In brief, quality control (QC) is a system of specific activities that ensures proper
functioning of equipment and services in the radiology department. Quality assurance
(QA) is a system of checks and balances that ensures proper management and
effectiveness of the quality control system. Quality assurance includes many facets of
activities, such as quality control, preventive maintenance, equipment calibration, in-
service education of the technologists and darkroom personnel, specification and
acceptance testing of new equipment, and evaluation of new products.
a. Quality Control. This is a system of specific activities that:
Ensures quality products and services that meet the user's need.
Provides for adequate, dependable, and economic quality.
b. Quality Assurance. This is a management system that:
Ensures an effective overall quality system.
Evaluates the adequacy and effectiveness of the overall quality control
Initiates corrective measures where they are necessary.
BENEFITS OF QUALITY CONTROL AND QUALITY ASSURANCE FOR
PATIENTS AND DEPARTMENTS
a. Patients. The reduction in radiation exposure to the patient is the most
important benefit of a quality assurance program. Because the equipment is in
excellent working condition, there are fewer retakes and the personnel can minimize the
dose to the patient so that the potential benefits outweigh the risk of the examination.
Improving the quality of the image (which a QA program does) naturally improves the
diagnostic information. This is what you, as an X-ray Specialist, will always strive for:
OPTIMAL diagnostic radiographs.
b. Departments. Not only the patients benefit from a quality assurance
program. The radiology departments also benefit from the program in two specific
ways: consistency in production and cost effectiveness.