This article reviews the general principles of quality assurance (QA) in an imaging department, with emphasis on nuclear medicine. The various steps taken during the development of the QA program reflect the response of the QA committee as it came to a better understanding of the components of QA. Accrediting and regulatory bodies have had important roles in providing guidance. Quality control of instrumentation and radiopharmaceuticals opened the gateway to monitoring in high-volume, high-risk areas; however, QA expanded this concept into better generic and clinical monitoring. Encouragement of the use of quality of care referral forms resulted in greater participation by all members of the department. Examples of physicians' QA activities include double reading of images and sending of code cards. Experience with other forms of physician QA activities is also included. The QA committee provides a forum for five steps of QA: identify problems, assess the causes, implement action to prevent them, monitor effects of the actions, and document these activities. These steps should lead to improvement in the standards of patient care.
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