Developing and Implementing a System for Quality and Safety in Women's Imaging in Qatar

A research project supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) was approved in 2016 for a duration of three years. The project is a collaboration between Mass General and the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), a government entity that serves as the major medical service provider in Qatar and operates eight hospitals. It focuses on the paucity of information on image quality and radiation safety related to imaging women in Qatar.

The goals of the project are to 1) assess quality and safety in women's imaging in Qatar, 2) develop guidelines based on obtained data, 3) provide guidance on implementation of best practices and 4) reassess current practice. Areas of focus include breast imaging (e.g., mammography), imaging in pregnancy and inadvertent radiation exposure among women of childbearing age.

Data collection will take place in hospitals affiliated with HMC, conducted by a team of multidisciplinary experts spanning the fields of clinical radiology, medical physics and radiation protection. Experts from the US will provide professional expertise for planning studies in Qatar, compare practices with those of their own hospitals, develop guidelines aligned with best practices and available international guidelines and oversee implementation and publication of results. Emphasis will be on image quality and radiation dose using criteria for image quality assessment based on expert experience at Mass General. Similarly, radiation dose indices will be based on the recommendations of international organizations and the experience of the project’s radiation protection experts. The project budget is US$0.72M , and Mass General is represented by Madan Rehani, PhD and Mannudeep Kalra, MD.