Using a radiology-based informatics system to impact clinical practice: a study to improve and track patient alignment in computed tomography Public Deposited

Introduction: Proper use of computed tomography (CT) imaging systems depends heavily on accurate patient positioning. Patient misalignment with respect to scanner isocenter generates deleterious effects on both the quality of the resulting image and the radiation output of the CT scanner. Alignment errors produce pixel intensity inaccuracies and increases in noise which degrade the quality of the image. In terms of radiation dose, distorted approximations of patient size emanating from improper positioning result in misallocations of radiation output. The mission of this study is to increase patient alignment accuracy in an effort to optimize CT dose and image quality through an education initiative. Conclusions: Improvements in vertical positioning at OHSU proved that the presentation given to technologists was an effective quality improvement tactic. Lateral alignment shifts were minor since high baseline accuracy provided little room for improvement. Dosimetry gains were inappreciable from the small decreases in vertical displacement. The education initiative was successful in exacting a meaningful change in patient alignment at OHSU in support of improving radiation dose and image quality.

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