The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is seeing many bone densitometry units (Bone Mineral Densitometry or BMD) being installed in facilities. Some of these facilities do not have other x-ray equipment and consequently are not aware of the regulations regarding them. If the BMD unit emits ionizing radiation, Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4732.0850 applies.
- The unit must be registered by the facility with the Minnesota Department of Health, Radiation Control Unit.
- The facility must abide by all applicable rules in Chapter 4732. Failure to do so could result in monetary fines.
- A qualified radiation safety officer must be assigned to oversee the safety and training of operators and the safety of patients.
- All BMD tests must be ordered by a licensed practitioner of the healing arts (i.e., medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor, podiatrist, certified nurse practitioner, or a physician's assistant with a valid delegation agreement). If a screening project is planned where no doctor's order would be required, the Commissioner of Health must approve it in advance. (See 4732.0565 Healing Arts Screening)
- The BMD unit can only be operated by people who have passed an exam approved by the Commissioner of Health to operate ionizing radiation producing machines.
- "Precision testing," whereby the operator is to repeat the exam on the same patient is considered training or testing on patients and is prohibited.
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