Quality Management Audits in Nuclear Medicine Practices (QUANUM)

QUANUM provides independent quality audits through comprehensive reviews of nuclear medicine practices and investigations in response to suspected or actual incidents in nuclear medicine. To improve quality of nuclear medicine practices, it focuses on peer reviews of nuclear medicine practices and management at a nuclear medicine centre.

A quality audit of a programme has two principal components: a review of the policies, procedures and critical data; and a site visit to confirm that equipment and clinical processes are functioning as they should be. These two fundamentals are sometimes summarized as advice to “say what you do and do what you say.” An audit is carried out by a multidisciplinary team of experts, typically comprising a nuclear medicine physician, a medical physicist, a nuclear medicine technologist/radiographer and a radiopharmacist/radiochemist.

The QUANUM methodology gives guidance on the implementation of such audits.

Audits usually conclude with a written report that assesses the current quality of the programme and makes suggestions for improvement. Such reports are then submitted to the assessed facility. It is important to note that an audit is specifically not designed for regulatory purposes and the auditors have no power to enforce any actions based on their assessment. They can only report their findings and give recommendations, which the audited facility is free to implement or not, as they wish. Notwithstanding this, QUANUM audits have overall contributed to significant improvements.