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The title of this blog may seem obvious to many of our medical and dental clients who frequently use X-Ray and Laser equipment to treat their patients. Still, your friendly compliance experts at iRad Consulting are noticing more and more where office personnel is unknowingly getting their company into hot water by testing their equipment on non-patients.

We would like to take this moment to inform our clients and staff that they should not take pictures of anyone other than patients. Doing so is a Level One violation with the state (the highest level of violations), and it comes with a $4,000 fine.

This topic came up recently when we heard of some installers of dental units asking staff to have their family members to come in to practice taking X-rays. Obviously, the family members are not coming in as patients. We also see this happen in a number of other situations, including:

o    Staff demonstrating the use of the equipment on each other during training sessions

o    Staff taking pictures of their own finger for the quality assurance protocol

o    Veterinarians taking pictures of staff (not pets) who are going to orthopedic doctors

What’s the harm in that, right? After all, you have to use something tangible to test your equipment.

The Department of State Health Services is very clear on this matter. Below is an excerpt for your reference:

Prohibited Acts:

  • 289.232(i)(2)(B) THE TEXT ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PAGE THE RULE LANGUAGE ON THE LEFT SIDE IS THE OFFICIAL ADOPTED RULE LANGUAGE AS OF THE PAGE CONTROLS ANY ISSUE PUBLISHED IN THE TEXAS ADMINISTRATIVE CODE (TAC). REGARDING COMPLIANCE WITH THE RULES. 232-49 (September 2004) (B) Individuals shall not be exposed to the useful beam except for healing arts purposes and unless such exposure has been authorized by a dentist. This provision specifically prohibits deliberate exposure for the following purposes: (i) exposure of an individual for training, demonstration, or other non-healing arts purposes.

If staff or parents are coming in as legitimate patients, it is completely acceptable to X-ray them. In any other circumstance, it is a violation. If installers are coming to your facility and need to test objects, they should use phantom objects, not people. Examples of phantom objects include everything from a stapler to a pen, cell phone, TV remote control or even an extracted tooth.

If you or your staff have any more questions regarding this or any other compliance matter, please give iRad Consulting a call. We help offices stay in compliance with state X-ray rules and regulations. We also track all the latest news and industry trends, so our clients don’t have to.

Please visit www.iradconsult.com, call us at (469) 573-2323, or email us at info@iradconsult.com