Quality Control Management and Communication Between Radiologists and Technologists

Paul G. Nagy, Benjamin Pierce, Misty Otto, Nabile M. Safdar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: The greatest barrier to quality control (QC) in the digital imaging environment is the lack of communication and documentation between those who interpret images and those who acquire them. Paper-based QC methods are insufficient in a digital image management system. Problem work flow must be incorporated into reengineering efforts when migrating to a digital practice. The authors implemented a Web-based QC feedback tool to document and facilitate the communication of issues identified by radiologists. The goal was to promote a responsive and constructive tool that contributes to a culture of quality. The hypothesis was that by making it easier for radiologists to submit quality issues, the number of QC issues submitted would increase. Methods: The authors integrated their Web-based quality tracking system with a clinical picture archiving and communication system so that radiologists could report quality issues without disrupting clinical work flow. Graphical dashboarding techniques aid supervisors in using this database to identify the root causes of different types of issues. Results: Over the initial 12-month rollout period, starting in the general section, the authors recorded 20 times more QC issues submitted by radiologists, accompanied by a rise in technologists' responsiveness to QC issues. For technologists with high numbers of QC issues, the incorporation of data from this tracking system proved useful in performance appraisals and in driving individual improvement. Conclusion: This tool is an example of the types of information technology innovations that can be leveraged to support QC in the digital imaging environment. Initial data suggest that the result is not only an improvement in quality but higher levels of satisfaction for both radiologists and technologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-765
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • PACS
  • Quality control
  • image quality
  • information technology
  • practice management
  • quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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