X-Ray Maintenance Means Better Patient Care

There’s more to offering top-level radiology services to patients than purchasing X-ray machines and taking scans.

The high level of patient care that medical facilities strive for requires both the highest scan quality and the safest conditions for patients and staff.

To meet these stringent requirements, your facility’s X-ray machines must receive regular maintenance to keep them in optimal working order.

In that vein, we’d like to offer some suggestions.

A repairman with glasses and a blue shirt works on a monitor using a screwdriver as part of routine X-ray maintenance.

How to Maintain the Highest Level of Image Quality

X-ray equipment that’s kept in top working order produces the high-quality images medical professionals require to deliver outstanding patient care.

The presence of cracks, smudges, or debris within the image receptor system can cause image artifacts, which drastically reduce the quality of x-ray images. Lower image quality can compromise the ability to properly diagnose patients.

In addition to basic cleanliness, machines must also be regularly calibrated to ensure they are functioning properly. Due attention should be given to potential problems with the various settings, including:

  • Brightness
  • Resolution
  • Contrast
  • Magnification

Accurate diagnoses require accurate images, which means your X-ray equipment must be properly maintained and in top working order.

How to Reduce the Risks of Radiation Output

When we discuss safety, the amount of X-ray energy emitted is the primary concern.

Although the human body can safely absorb and process small amounts of radiation, poorly maintained X-ray machines can release unnecessary amounts that pose health risks to patients and employees.

Conducting regular inspections and upkeep of your machines is key to maintaining safety standards.

A side note: Keeping your radiation safety equipment in proper order is also an important part of reducing the health risks for patients and staff — read more about how to inspect your safety devices here.

Regular Maintenance: What Does It Involve?

To ensure that no long-term damage is caused by radiation emission, your X-ray machines and all related equipment must be frequently and thoroughly checked for malfunctions.

Be sure that you’re paying attention to the following items.

Cleaning Tubes

If your X-ray machine utilizes open X-ray tubes, which can be opened to clean or replace components, including filaments, targets, o-rings, and sockets, and are sealed with vacuum pressure, be sure that you regularly conduct the following upkeep:

  • Clean tubes
  • Examine tube body and components for defects
  • Replace or repair aging components promptly

Checking General Functionality

Overall preventative maintenance can be conducted by trained techs. This systematic upkeep usually includes the following:

  • Confirming correct operating procedures are being followed
  • Routine cleaning
  • Tightening all components and hardware
  • Checking image quality by taking images of provided reference material
  • Running a diagnostics check
  • Testing the computer operating system

Records for Equipment Performance Evaluations (EPE) should be kept on file in case there are any questions asked about maintenance procedures or equipment functionality.

For more information, click to read our article on EPEs.

Preparing for Inspection

Random and unscheduled inspections by the Department of State Health Services are intended to hold facilities accountable for proper maintenance of their X-ray equipment.

By knowing the requirements and keeping in a constant state of readiness for an inspection, you greatly increase your standards of safety.

Details on inspection requirements can be found in this article by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Routine maintenance keeps your x-ray machines performing at their highest level. It can help identify and rectify small issues before they become major problems or pose safety risks.

X-Ray Equipment Maintenance: Trust Southwest X-Ray

In addition to the sales of digital X-ray equipment, Southwest X-Ray provides top-level service and maintenance to keep your equipment functioning properly, which leads to better outcomes and greater safety for both staff and patients.

Contact us here with all of your X-ray maintenance needs today.

Shad Merchant

Shad Merchant is an industry veteran with experience in every aspect of the X-ray and imaging industry, having spent over 20 years assisting small medical practices, massive hospital systems, and everyone in between, all over the world, to find the right imaging solution for their needs. Contact him at shadm@swxray.com to learn more about what equipment is right for you.

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