Prior to performing the STEP test on a processor, make sure that facility personnel have indicated that the processor is ready for processing mammograms. Processors that may not have reached operational temperature, may have evaporated developer chemistry, etc. may fail the STEP test and the facility will receive an inspection finding incorrectly. Prior to performing STEP tests on the processor, it is imperative to check with facility personnel to ensure that it is operational and in control.
Exception: if a facility has already performed their daily processor QC, has determined that the processor is within limits, and is processing mammograms, perform the STEP test regardless of the developer temperate or other conditions. In this exceptional situation, any data that shows they are underprocessing will demonstrate to facility personnel that they have a problem with their processor and their processor QC testing.