RSNA 2019: Imaging Informatics Preview

Patient photographs help quality improvement with x-rays

By Erik L. Ridley, AuntMinnie staff writer

November 14, 2019 --

Wednesday, December 4 | 12:45 p.m.-1:15 p.m. | QI125-ED-WEB1 | Lakeside, QR Community, Station 1
Taking patient photographs at the time of radiography exams can be useful for quality improvement, according to this poster presentation.

For several years, researchers at Emory University in Birmingham, AL, have developed technology to capture digital photos of patients at the time of their portable x-ray study. The goal was mainly to help detect wrong-patient errors and provide clinical context for interpretation of radiographs, according to senior author Dr. Srini Tridandapani, PhD.

The technology has been implemented at Emory since January 2018 and has been useful for detecting wrong-patient errors and wrong-side imaging errors, he told

"However, we also found that the technology is useful as a quality assurance tool," Tridandapani said. "For example, the photographs can help us ascertain that technologists are using proper placement/positioning techniques and taking appropriate precautions in shielding patients."

Most importantly, however, the photographs humanize the studies; every exam is no longer just a case but a real patient, he said.

"PACS has made us very efficient but has also depersonalized the patient," Tridandapani said. "This technology will hopefully repersonalize the studies and provide radiologists with constant reminders that we are taking care of patients with every study."

Learn more about the benefits of this technology by checking out this poster presentation in Chicago.