Digital Radiography Reject Analysis

Results of a Survey Among Dutch Hospitals

Harmen Bijwaard, Ischa de Waard-Schalkx, MSc, Sandra Noij en MSc
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Medical imaging practice changed dramatically with the introduction of digital imaging. Although digital imaging has many advantages, it also has made it easier to delete images that are not of diagnostic quality. Mistakes in imaging—from improper patient positioning, patient movement during the examination, and selecting improper equipment—could go undetected when images are deleted. Such an approach would preclude a reject analysis from which valuable lessons could be learned. In the analog days of radiography, saving the rejected films and then analyzing them was common practice among radiographers. In principle, reject analysis can be carried out easier and with better tools (ie, software) in the digital era, provided that rejected images are stored for analysis. Reject analysis and the subsequent lessons learned could reduce the number of repeat images, thus reducing imaging costs and decreasing patient exposure to radiation. The purpose of this study, which was conducted by order of the Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate, was to investigate whether hospitals in the Netherlands store and analyze failed imaging and, if so, to identify the tools used to analyze those images.