There are approximately 4,326 medical, dental, chiropractic, veterinarian and industrial facilities with x-ray equipment registered with the Minnesota Department of Health, Radiation Control, X-ray Unit. As Minnesota Radiation Rule 4732 can be difficult to understand, we hope the information below answers some of the frequently asked questions from our registrants.
Registrant phone and email frequently asked questions
When do we calibrate our x-ray equipment?
Completion of calibration and performance evaluations are the responsibility of the registrant and the required tests must be those listed in 4732.1100. The results of these tests must comply with the minimum performance specifications of the equipment manufacturer, Code of Federal Regulations Title 21, or MDH Chapter 4732.1100. If the manufacturer does not have equipment specifications, or the equipment specifications are unknown, the registrant must comply with the minimum performance criteria in 4732.1100.
These evaluations must be performed at the time of installation prior to the use of the equipment, when there is any change or replacement of components that could cause a change in the radiation output of that system, and at the following frequencies:
- All radiographic equipment must be calibrated within 24 months of the previous evaluation
- Computed and radiographic tomography, stereographic mammography, and fluoroscopic equipment must be calibrated within 12 months of the previous evaluation
- X-ray equipment used for research must be evaluated according to the above equipment types
- Industrial x-ray equipment must be maintained according to the manufactures’ specifications.
All facilities with ionizing-radiation equipment must register these units with MDH. Radiation rules, sample documents, and guidance can be found on this website. Radioactive materials are licensed separately, visit their website at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/radiation/radioactive/index.html.
Radiation Safety Officer
A Radiation Safety Officer must be identified. If the registrant chooses, they can delegate the responsibility to another qualified individual through a signed delegation agreement.
Quality Assurance Manual
Registrants must establish a quality assurance manual. It will keep track of your radiation policies, calibration reports, procedures, and copies of quality control tests.
All x-ray equipment must be calibrated prior to operation of the equipment. Most equipment must be re-calibrated at intervals not to exceed 24 months. CT scanners and Fluoroscopy equipment must be re-calibrated at intervals not to exceed 12 months.
Quality Control Testing
Quality control testing will vary, whether your system is film-screen, computed radiography, or digital radiography. If it is a film-screen system, fog testing, screen-contact, speed-match, and processor testing needs to be done. If you are not using film-screen, follow manufacturer’s recommendations for quality control.
Registrants must have radiation safety policies in place, including: initial training, required training (if any), lead integrity testing (if personal protective equipment such as lead aprons is used), retake analysis (if required), radiation program/annual audits, pregnancy policy, and ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).
Facilities must only use MDH registered service providers to work on their x-ray equipment. Facilities may employ their own employees, who are not required to register with MDH. Service Providers are issued registration cards by MDH. If you question a service provider’s registration, please call the office to verify.
MDH regulates medical, dental, veterinarian, and industrial facilities, so the information above will not apply to all facilities. It will serve as a general guideline to assist facilities in establishing their Quality Assurance Manual.