In which situations should facilities establish new processor operating levels?
The most warranted and common situations for a facility to establish new processor operating levels are when processor QC testing is initiated for a new processor or when a significant change is made in the processing system. Some significant changes that may necessitate the establishment of new operating levels include: change in film brand/type, change in chemical brand/type, change in replenishment rates, change in specific gravity automixer settings, change of sensitometer or densitometer, or a change in processing conditions (standard vs. extended). Replacement of chemistry (same brand/type) as part of routine preventative maintenance should not necessitate establishment of new operating levels. Facilities should not use the establishment of new operating levels to correct problems in the processing system, but should troubleshoot and solve the problem with appropriate corrective action. FDA recommends that the facility consult with their medical physicist prior to establishing new operating levels.