We are establishing a QC program preparing our lab for accreditation. Does each probe need to be checked once a month? I am curious to know what other labs are doing in their QC program. Please comment or make suggestions.
Is this for ICAVL, ICAEL, ACR, or AIUM accreditation?
For AIUM, the following is recommended:
Daily: Check transducer cables for damage, check transducer housing and transmitting surface for cracks, separations, and discolorations, examine images for vertical shadows and streaks caused by dead elements.
Annually (at least): Check transducer uniformity, maximum depth of visualization for each frequency setting, target detection, and distance measurement accuracy.
Paula, thank u for your comment. Regardless of which accreditation, isn't there a standard? We are using a Gammex phantom and image documentation stored into PACS as well a QC log book to check each probe monthly. Some others in my ultrasound community are checking one probe a month in their QC program. I have read ACR's accreditation guidelines, and it seems vague to me-just as long as a QC program is in place and the probes are checked regularly. I have not read any of the other accreditating guidelines.
I don't know of any universal standard. Some manufacturers claim that certain ultrasound machines don't need ANY routine evaluation/calibration, although AIUM-accredited practices must still meet the requirements regardless of what the vendors say.