Urgent care centers in New York City and New York State: do you know if you’re in compliance with quality assurance regulations for primary diagnostic monitors (PDMs)?
These regulations aren’t new, but city and state health departments have recently started cracking down on urgent care centers, performing surprise inspections to make sure centers are in compliance.
What are the PDM Regulations?
Both the New York city and state health departments have established regulations for primary diagnostic monitors:
- NYC Quality Assurance Guidelines for Primary Diagnostic Monitors
- Guide for Radiation Safety/Quality Assurance Programs: Primary Diagnostic Monitors
These regulations refer to the monitors used for x-ray and radiology over-reads. Before they can be used, the PDMs must pass stringent requirements, such as measuring the Gray-scale; luminance uniformity and ratio; and evaluating the viewing conditions of the monitor. The monitors must be tested on a bi-weekly, quarterly and annual basis.
All testing must be thoroughly documented manually or with specialized software, and documentation must be readily available for Health Department officials upon visit to a center. Even if an urgent care center uses an off-site vendor for radiology over-reads, it must still prove PDM compliance from the vendor.
Does Teleradiology Specialists Meet the Regulations?
The simple answer is “yes.” With Teleradiology Specialists (TRS), an inspection from the New York City/State Health Department is fast and easy because all New York TRS clients are provided with the documentation they need to prove PDM compliance.
Teleradiology Specialists’ radiologists meet compliance in a number of ways:
- Some TRS radiologists have monitors with built-in sensors and software that will automatically run required calibration and conformance testing and display visual test patterns
- Other TRS radiologists have software and an external photometer that is used for required calibration and conformance testing. Software also displays necessary test patterns for visual testing.
With software, much of this process is automated, making it easy for Teleradioloy Specialists to track compliance with their radiologists. They use XCAL for their quality assurance process, which allows them to:
- Track calibrations and hours and receive reminder alerts
- Schedule automatic calibration and conformance tests
- Gain immediate access to both table-formatted and graphical results
- Gain automatic receipt of TG-18 visual tests
- View and save historical data on white-level, black-level, calibration and conformance tests for JCAHO/MQSA and other medical certifications
- View workstation system performance information
- Obtain the most accurate results through use of external photometer
All up-to-date documentation is provided to Teleradiology Specialists’ clients in a cloud-based format so it is easily accessible from any location.
When new radiologists join the TRS team, they must provide PDM compliance documentation before they can do over-reads for New York-based clients. If they are unable to provide documentation, TRS uses XCAL and an external photometer to determine whether the new radiologist’s monitors comply with New York’s regulations.
Teleradiology Specialists’ New York clients can rest easy knowing the company’s quality assurance program guarantees compliance with PDM regulations and that they’ll be provided with the documentation to prove compliance every time.