Frequently Asked Questions About Inspections
How often are we inspected?
Inspection frequencies vary depending on machine type. Mammography machines are inspected at least every 12 months. All other x-ray machines are inspected at a frequency determined by the Department not to exceed 5 years. The following reflects current Department standards:
- Mammography machines are inspected annually.
- New mammography machines are inspected within 60 days.
- New registrants are usually inspected in the first 12 months of registration
- All other x-ray facilities are inspected every 3-5 years.
Does Radiation Safety make appointments for inspections?
Generally we do not make appointments but occasionally will if circumstances require an appointment. Most times we can make our tests and obtain information without disrupting patient flow. If it is not possible to work us into your daily schedule, please inform the inspector and ask to have us come back at a more convenient time.
What should I expect from an onsite inspection by Radiation Safety?
An onsite inspection will usually consist of the following:
- Inspection is announced to the receptionist.
- X-ray machines are tested for performance standards. Intraoral dental x-ray machines take about 5-10 minutes to test. Dental machine tests can be performed between patients as operatories open up. Other types of x-ray machines take longer. A radiographic machine may take around 45 minutes. If a patient needs an x-ray we will move out of the room during the patient examination.
- Patient exposure measurements are made for typical projections.
- The method of processing images is reviewed.
- Radiation shielding is checked by directing the beam towards the barrier and measuring the radiation through the shielding.
- If personnel monitoring is required, radiation dosimeter records are reviewed.
- For mammography and CT machines, credentials of personnel and records of quality control testing are reviewed.
- The inspector will summarize the results of the inspection with the facility.
What happens after the inspection?
For each dental inspection we issue an inspection report before we leave the facility. For every other type of inspection, we mail a report to the facility detailing our findings. Each report will address any violation we find and indicate if the facility needs to take corrective action.
What happens if we are cited for violations of the rules?
The facility will be expected to take corrective action to achieve compliance and to provide the Department with sufficient documentation to support the correction of each violation. Typically we allow 30-45 days after the inspection to provide the notice of corrective action.
What happens if we do not comply?
Facilities who do not provide a timely notice of corrective action are subject to reinspection with the assessment of a reinspection fee.
Can we be fined for violations of the rules?
Yes. Under the provisions of the Public Health Code the Department may issue civil penalties and/or pursue criminal sanctions. However, the Department has found it efficient to work with registrants to ensure the safe use of their x-ray machines without the need to issue civil penalties.
Last update: 7/19/2016