Dental Radiography QA. Equipment Performance
The X-ray Set
X-ray sets must be checked and certified as working correctly when they are installed, and at regular intervals thereafter.
A specific person should be put in charge of arranging the equipment survey, and this should be done according to a regular timetable. They must also maintain a regular log of the performance checks, and list the actions taken to remedy any shortcomings.
There are three main phases of testing.
1. Critical examination of installation plans,
2. The Acceptance Test. When new equipment has been installed, and is about to be used for the first time.
3. Routine Tests. These are undertaken at timetabled intervals.
Is there any other time a “Routine Test” needs to be done?
Critical examination of installation plans
This is done to check the plans meet radiation safety standards for staff, patients, and members of the public.
Who does this?
What needs to be considered?
The Detailed Acceptance Test
This test covers the same ground as the critical examination. It also tests that the equipment works properly, and the precise dose from each machine is recorded.
Why is the actual dose recorded? Why not just record that it is within correct levels?
The frequency of routine tests varies in different countries. In the UK, the timetable should be at least every 3 years. If there have been any problems with dose, image quality, or running the QA programme effectively, this should be increased.
What is the aim of the routine test?
Are automatic processors included in tests?
The results of all tests must be recorded (logged) in the Radiation Protection File. Actions needed to correct problems must be listed, and a record made of when they are completed.
The Radiation Protection File is an essential part of the Practice Clinical Governance Record (i.e. being able to prove, through documentation, that things are done well).
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