Finding the balance between patient dose and image quality is fundamental in diagnostic imaging. Ensuring a good balance between radiation exposure and diagnostic value of the exam seems a simple principle, but the optimization and evaluation of images in daily practice is a complex task. One, radiographers perform on a daily basis when juggling clinical questions, patient variation, technical parameters and desired image quality. The digital imaging chain (the linear process from acquisition from the radiograph by the radiographer until reporting by the radiologist or reviewing by other professions) is further complicated because of the need for agreement on image quality between the different professions involved. As shown by literature this agreement is not trivial, and disagreement or misunderstandings may lead to uncertainty, overexposure of the patient or unnecessary retakes.
The goal of this study is to investigate the clinical variation in acceptability of image quality in radiography between the different professions, such as radiographers, radiologist and A&E physicians. In the first part, the level of variation in acceptability between the different professions is measured. The second part goes deeper into the causes of these variations, first with a qualitative study focused on radiographers, followed by a larger quantitative study examining radiographers and radiologists.
The final goal of the project is supply guidelines to improve the decision-making process and the communication between the different professions in the clinical imaging chain. These guidelines will be tested in at least two institutes.