Texas Board of Licensure for Professional Medical Physicists Home Page

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Welcome to the home page of the The Texas Board of Licensure for Professional Medical Physicists, the state board that licenses and regulates Medical Physicists in Texas.

PUBLIC HEARING

September 10, 2014 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Double Tree by Hilton-Austin
6505 Interstate Highway 35-North, Austin, TX 78752.

The Texas Board of Licensure for Professional Medical Physicists will conduct a public hearing to receive oral or written testimony and comment regarding the duties and responsibilities of diagnostic licensed medical physicists (LMPs) with regard to the use of assistants, service engineers, or technicians (hereafter, assistants) to gather data for Equipment Performance Evaluations on medical x-ray equipment (excluding therapy, CT and fluoroscopy units). The Board seeks comment from diagnostic LMPs, registrants, facilities, service engineers, manufacturers, and other interested parties.
If you are a diagnostic LMP, the board would like to know which measurements must or should be performed by you and which you could delegate to a non-licensed assistant or service engineer. In your experience, what is the common practice? What problems have arisen for LMPs regarding assistants, if any? If you delegate the taking of measurements, what qualifications do you require of those individuals? What instructions or training do you provide those individuals? How do you assess the individual’s competence? How do you ensure the data is collected accurately? How do you oversee the work? Do you have any failsafe mechanisms in place to catch errors in the taking of the measurements? How often have you found errors and how significant were they? Can you quantify the down time and expense to facilities if you were not able to delegate these measurements to an assistant? If you are a diagnostic LMP that does not currently delegate these measurement tasks, are there circumstances in which you would be comfortable doing so?
The American College of Radiology provides a description of the use of trained assistants in the practice of professional medical physics: “The medical physicist may be assisted by other properly trained individuals in obtaining test data for performance monitoring. These individuals must be properly trained and approved by the medical physicist in the techniques of performing the tests, the function and limitations of the imaging equipment and test instruments, the reasons for the tests, and the importance of the test results. The tests will be performed by or under the general supervision of the medical physicist, who is responsible for and must review, interpret, and approve all data and provide a signed report.” The Board could incorporate this description into its rules or adopt it as a policy guideline, with or without modification.

For all interested parties: If the board were to create a rule or policy guideline addressing this topic, what suggestions would you have? Please identify: 

  • impacts to patient care and safety 
  • costs to the LMP, assistant, manufacturer, institution/employer, or regulatory program, of any changes, such as for new certification or training requirements
  • known or potential conflicts of interest
  • any obstacles, such as the practicality of personal observation of an assistant
  • what is reasonable in various facilities, such as a modern urban hospital or a small rural clinic
  • suggestions for changes to processes, software, use of technology, standards, training, etc., that you would welcome
  • impacts to TMP licensees (e.g. are they used as assistants?) and supervision plans
Please relate any anecdotal experiences with use of assistants (good and bad). If you have a suggestion for a rule change, please provide changes to rule text, including definitions to add. If you have a suggestion for a policy guideline, please know that unless adopted into rule, a policy guideline would not be enforceable. Please note that rules and policy may not conflict with the statute.
The hearing will be held on September 10, 2014, from 2-5 pm, at Double Tree by Hilton-Austin, 6505 Interstate Highway 35-North, Austin, TX 78752.
The hearing is structured for the receipt of oral or written comments from interested persons. Individuals may present oral statements when called upon in order of registration. Open discussion will not be permitted during the hearing. Written comments may be submitted to Ann Hammer, Professional Licensing & Certification Unit, Texas Department of State Health Services, Mail Code 1982, P.O. Box 149347, Austin, TX 78714-9347 or faxed to (512) 834-6677. Electronic comments submitted by e-mail to: med_physicist@dshs.state.tx.us. Written and electronic comments will be accepted now, before the hearing, and following the hearing, until September 30, 2014.

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Last updated June 11, 2014
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