Article: article from journal or magazin.
Comprehensive Auditing in Nuclear Medicine Through the International Atomic Energy Agency Quality Management Audits in Nuclear Medicine Program. Part 2: Analysis of Results.
Seminars in nuclear medicine
Publication types: Journal Article ; Review
Publication Status: ppublish
Publication Status: ppublish
The International Atomic Energy Agency has developed a program, named Quality Management Audits in Nuclear Medicine (QUANUM), to help its Member States to check the status of their nuclear medicine practices and their adherence to international reference standards, covering all aspects of nuclear medicine, including quality assurance/quality control of instrumentation, radiopharmacy (further subdivided into levels 1, 2, and 3, according to complexity of work), radiation safety, clinical applications, as well as managerial aspects. The QUANUM program is based on both internal and external audits and, with specifically developed Excel spreadsheets, it helps assess the level of conformance (LoC) to those previously defined quality standards. According to their level of implementation, the level of conformance to requested standards; 0 (absent) up to 4 (full conformance). Items scored 0, 1, and 2 are considered non-conformance; items scored 3 and 4 are considered conformance. To assess results of the audit missions performed worldwide over the last 8 years, a retrospective analysis has been run on reports from a total of 42 audit missions in 39 centers, three of which had been re-audited. The analysis of all audit reports has shown an overall LoC of 73.9 ± 8.3% (mean ± standard deviation), ranging between 56.6% and 87.9%. The highest LoC has been found in the area of clinical services (83.7% for imaging and 87.9% for therapy), whereas the lowest levels have been found for Radiopharmacy Level 2 (56.6%); Computer Systems and Data Handling (66.6%); and Evaluation of the Quality Management System (67.6%). Prioritization of non-conformances produced a total of 1687 recommendations in the final audit report. Depending on the impact on safety and daily clinical activities, they were further classified as critical (requiring immediate action; n = 276; 16% of the total); major (requiring action in relatively short time, typically from 3 to 6 months; n = 604; 36%); whereas the remaining 807 (48%) were classified as minor, that is, to be addressed whenever possible. The greatest proportion of recommendations has been found in the category "Managerial, Organization and Documentation" (26%); "Staff Radiation Protection and Safety" (17.3%); "Radiopharmaceuticals Preparation, Dispensing and Handling" (15.8%); and "Quality Assurance/Quality Control" and "Management of Equipment and Software" (11.4%). The lowest level of recommendations belongs to the item "Human Resources" (4%). The QUANUM program proved applicable to a wide variety of institutions, from small practices to larger centers with PET/CT and cyclotrons. Clinical services rendered to patients showed a good compliance with international standards, whereas issues related to radiation protection of both staff and patients will require a higher degree of attention. This is a relevant feedback for the International Atomic Energy Agency with regard to the effective translation of safety recommendations into routine practice. Training on drafting and application of standard operating procedures should also be considered a priority.
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