PV QA 3 - Poster Viewing Q&A 3
Purpose/Objective(s): The Cancer Center in this study is a large NCI-designated comprehensive oncology network with over 20 radiation oncology centers. Given the significant quality variances that have been reported in the literature, we hypothesize that the establishment of a standardized physics quality assurance and quality control program across a large network of cancer centers and regular audits will lead to measurable improvements in the network’s standardized physics quality management and radiation safety program. In this study, we report on the results of multi-year audits of an established physics and radiation safety quality assurance and quality control program at these centers.
Materials/Methods: Following American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) accreditation in 2012, a physics quality control monitoring program was implemented, consisting of annual review audits at each of the centers. The audits were conducted over a period from 2013 to 2017. Each center was evaluated against a common checklist which is comprised of review items in several broad categories such as regulatory compliance, quality assurance testing of equipment, continuing education and adherence to ACRO accreditation guidelines. For each of the reviews, a report was developed listing the deficiencies and establishing corrective measures with implementation timelines.
Results: The initial ACRO passing ratio (percentage of the centers, which received full accreditation on the first review) was 67% in 2012. The average number of deficiencies from the first 2 annual audits in 2013 and 2014 was 3 deficiencies per center. This number decreased to 2 in 2015 and to 1 in 2017. The pass ratio for ACRO re-accreditation in 2015 increased to 87%. The average number of severe deficiencies, e.g., certain quality assurance tests such as multileaf collimator quality assurance was not done with appropriate frequency, was 1 severe deficiency per center in 2013. On the most recent review in 2017, the number of severe deficiencies was 0.
Conclusion: Continuing quality control review within the framework of our large integrated radiation oncology network led to measurable improvements in the network’s standardized physics quality management and radiation safety program and also contributed to fostering the culture of quality and safety in the network. This model may serve as an example for other large radiation oncology networks of developing and assessing the effectiveness of a physics quality management program.
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