The importance of a regular calibration on your portable X-ray machine cannot be over stated. Many problems can be detected early and easily fixed when the machine is on a regular calibration schedule.
As the x-ray unit ages the x-ray tube inside your machine will tend drop its output efficiency compared to where it was originally when received from the manufacturer or even from the previous year’s calibration. As these machines age the mA will drop causing the kVp to increase which will reduce the image detail contrast. Producing the desired detail contrast will require recalibration of the unit or fiddling with the technique settings. Using a machine which is out of calibration will shorten the life of the machine while also making numerous exposures required to produce a quality image. We at Diagnostic Imaging Systems are adept at unit recalibration.
There are other factors which will cause an out of calibration condition. DIS has the experience to look for causes if something is not right. Some causes can be simple while others could be catastrophic to the machine if not detected and repaired in time. A good example would be the oil level inside the HV tank assembly. If the oil is low the units will arc internally and we have found them to then damage the power board and also the HV tank assembly to the point of needing new ones.
All states require regular calibrations within a 24 month period performed and documentation provided to have the machines certified for use in the clinic. Failure to do so can result in revocation of your x-ray license plus fines imposed by the state. We have received many machines in for calibration because of them not passing state inspections or because they cannot provide the necessary documentation proving one was done. Some states will require a history of records showing that the machine has been calibrated regularly.
So, while you may think that the time and cost it takes to get your machine calibrated is expensive, in the long run it will turn out to be costlier if not done. The proper care and maintenance of your machine will enhance your practice with good quality images the first time saving you time and money. Calibrations are very affordable when you consider the cost of a replacement of power board or even having to replace a new machine.