At present, there are approximately 100 facilities in the state of Oregon who provide mammography service. The state of Oregon employs health physicists to inspect mammography facilities through the Radiation Protection Services Section (RPS). These health physicists are experienced in evaluating all types of x-ray facilities and have, in addition, undergone rigorous training by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to obtain certification to inspect federally-certified mammography facilities.
RPS is contracted by the FDA to inspect mammography facilities for compliance with the federal regulations. Thus, RPS performs two inspections simultaneously, one for the FDA and one for the state of Oregon.
The federal regulations are found in the "Mammography Quality Standards Act" (MQSA).
Oregon rules support a mammography dose limit that is lower than the current federal standard. The federal standard dictates that the dose be no higher than 300 millirads. Oregon rules require that the dose be no more than 250 millirads. State Inspectors may, time permitting, inspect other types of x-ray equipment while they are on-site for the mammography inspection.
The mammography inspection covers a review of the following areas:
- Qaulity Control documentation
- Radiologist qualification records
Technologist qualification records
Medical audit and outcome analysis
- Medical records
The average on-site inspection time for a facility with one machine is approximatly four hours. Inspections are scheduled at least five working days prior to the inspection. During the inspection facility staff may conduct their usual duties, although staff will need to be available during the records review for questions or other assistance.