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A peer learning program includes the process of peer review, which is the act of performing a secondary review of a peer's work using pre-defined criteria. The Technologist Image Quality Assessment Criteria Project (TIQACP) was initiated to develop and evaluate such criteria for use by technologists for assessment of image quality in Nuclear Medicine (NM). A NM clinical expert panel was assembled, comprising 14 technologists, radiologists, and educators from five imaging centres and an academic institution with associated medical imaging training programs. Project design was guided by consensus-based methodology that included three phases: (1) image quality assessment criteria development, based on literature search and expert review (2) image quality assessment criteria refinement, based on consensus-building exercises (panel surveys, discussions, ranking exercise, and time trial) (3) external validation performed via a national survey of NM technologists, facilitated by the Canadian Association of Medical Radiation Technologists. The first phase generated 8 key evidence sources, including textbooks, NM journals and guidelines from professional associations that were reviewed by the expert panel leads and led to a preliminary list of 11 criteria. As part of the second phase, the preliminary list was reviewed via online surveys and panel discussions. Preliminary discussions led to an initial expansion of the list to include 18 criteria. This list required an average of 9 min (range: 7-11 min) for review, which was deemed prohibitive by the panel. A ranking exercise identified 'all required anatomy is clearly identified' as the most relevant criteria and 'Image quality demonstrates no breakdown of the radiopharmaceutical' as the least relevant criteria. Panel discussion also highlighted need to eliminate criteria that were not applicable to all settings. These insights led to an updated list of nine criteria organized into four categories. National validation was supported by 47 NM technologists from across Canada. Respondents were in agreement that the criteria reflected the core elements of image quality in NM (94% agree to strongly agree), were familiar (97%) and were relevant to their current practice setting (88%). The final list was thus not changed based on the survey. The TIQACP utilized an inclusive process that engaged a range of subject matter experts and the broader NM community to ensure buy-in of the final criteria. These criteria have subsequently been embedded in peer review software that has been implemented into a robust peer learning program for technologists designed to promote a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge sharing amongst front-line staff. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Jisla Mathews, Harinder Grewal, Caitlin Gillan, Ravi Menezes, Paul Cornacchione, Jennifer Catton. Development of nuclear medicine image quality assessment criteria for use in a technologist peer review program. Journal of medical imaging and radiation sciences. 2021 Mar;52(1):29-36

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PMID: 33308950

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