The diagnostic medical physicist (DMP) prepares, implement and supervises radiation safety and quality assurance procedures relating to image quality, radiation dose and radiation protection within the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. These responsibilities apply to all areas of non-therapeutic medical use of x-ray radiation (such as general radiography, cardiology, orthopedics). The DMP is recognized by the State of Utah as a Qualified Expert (R313-16-215) and a Mammography Imaging Medical Physicist (R313-28-140).
The DMP regularly inspects all diagnostic radiographic equipment in order to demonstrate compliance with applicable regulations and accreditation requirements. Inspections are performed at intervals established by rule (R313-16-290), accreditation requirements, in-house determined time intervals and as needed to ensure compliance with applicable rules (R-313-28) after significant maintenance or repair or any other event in which beam output or image quality could be affected. Accordingly, the DMP should be contacted after any of the following events:
- New machine purchase/installation
- Transfer of machine from different registrant or different location
- X-ray tube replacement
- Major maintenance to mechanical support system
- Repair or replacement of components affecting patient dose
- Any significant error, malfunction or abnormal occurrence
- Whenever there are questions regarding function, output or use that cannot be answered by operator
The DMP may be called to provide training for employees, as needed in order to comply with applicable rules. Training is provided to hospital and clinic personnel involved in the care of patients receiving x-ray procedures. Area-specific training is provided by each area supervisor and includes awareness training for all employees regarding the use of radiation machines in the area.