• IPEM Topical Report: An evidence and risk assessment based analysis of the efficacy of quality assurance tests on fluoroscopy units part II; image quality

      Shaw, Daniel; Worrall, M.; Baker, C.; Charnock, P.; Fazakerley, J.; Honey, I.; Iball, G. R.; Koutalonis, M.; Price, M.; Renaud, C.; et al. (2020)
      This work aims to assess the efficacy of x-ray quality assurance tests undertaken on fluoroscopy units in the UK. Information was gathered on the results of image quality tests recommended by the reports of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, and those additionally undertaken by medical physics departments. The assessment of efficacy considers the frequency with which a test result breaches the remedial level or other relevant threshold where applicable. The third quartile of those results exceeding the remedial level or threshold is used to estimate the severity of such a breach in terms of potential impact on patient dose and image quality. A risk assessment approach is then used to recommend to what degree, if any, the test should be included in an on-going test regimen. Data was analysed from 469 testing sessions to 337 unique fluoroscopy units throughout the UK. Across all tests, the rate with which the remedial level was exceeded varied from 0 10.6%, with severity ranging from little or none to major degradation to image quality or significant increase on population dose. Where possible, the data has also been used to produce representative ranges for the results of image quality tests. These could be useful as an up to date comparator for those sites considering the purchase of or commissioning new equipment. Overall the results indicate a wide range for the efficacy of those tests undertaken at present; this can be used to review local test protocols and to inform future changes to national guidance in the UK. The results also highlight some tests where measurement technique varies significantly throughout the UK, making any valid comparison difficult. This may indicate a need for further guidance on how best to undertake these tests.