PURPOSE To characterize the distribution of the deviation index (DI) in digital radiography practices across the United States. METHODS DI data was obtained from 10 collaborating institutions in the United States between 2012 and 2015. Each institution complied with the requirements of the Institutional Review Board at their site. DI data from radiographs of the body parts chest, abdomen, pelvis and extremity were analyzed for anteroposterior, posteroanterior, lateral, and decubitus views. The DI data was analyzed both in aggregate and stratified by exposure control method, image receptor technology, patient age, and participating site for each body part and view. The number of exposures with DI falling within previously published control limits for DI and descriptive statistics were calculated. RESULTS DI data from 505,930 radiographic exposures was analyzed. The number of exposures with DI falling within published control limits for DI varied from 10 to 20% for adult patients and 10 to 23% for pediatric patients for different body parts and views. Mean DI values averaged over other parameters for radiographs of the abdomen, chest, pelvis, and extremities ranged from 0.3 to 1.0, -0.6 to 0.5, 0.8, and -0.9 to 0.5 for the different adult views and ranged from -1.6 to -0.1, -0.3 to 0.5, -0.1, -0.2 to 1.4 for the different pediatric views, respectively (DI data was solicited only for anteroposterior view of pelvis). Standard deviation values of DI from individual sites ranged from 1.3 to 3.6 and 1.3 to 3.0 for the different adult and pediatric views, respectively. Also of interest was that target exposure indicators varied by up to a factor of 6 between sites for certain body parts and views. CONCLUSION Previously published DI control limits do not reflect the state of clinical practice in digital radiography. Mean DI and target exposure indicators are targets for quality improvement efforts in radiography.