The management of X-ray quality control data in mammography applications: an information technology approach to solving the problem
© BioMed Central 2004
Published: 14 July 2004
Mammographic equipment quality control procedures require that upwards of 35 items of data are recorded from each of 31 mammographic X-ray units per week, for which the Integrated Radiological Services provides medical physics support. The data are garnered from four main quality assurance (QA) areas; automatic exposure control monitoring, tube output data, image quality assessment and film processor monitoring (sensitometry). This adds up to some 1085 items per week or over 56,000 items per year. These data are collected by QA radiographers in both screening and symptomatic units on paper records, which are then sent to the Integrated Radiological Services where the data are input to a central database for storage and analysis. During a typical year this would require 50 man-days of medical physics input to be devoted to this task. An information technology-driven database system has been in use for some time to facilitate the central storage, analysis and management of these data. This paper reports on the implementation of a data interface, using personal digital assistant technology, between the user (QA radiographer) and the data management system. This personal digital assistant approach streamlines the data entry to the management system and the transfer of data to the central assessment facility.