Strategies for effective physics plan and chart review in radiation therapy: Report of AAPM Task Group 275

Eric Ford, Leigh Conroy, Lei Dong, Luis Fong de Los Santos, Anne Greener, Grace Gwe-Ya Kim, Jennifer Johnson, Perry Johnson, James G. Mechalakos, Brian Napolitano, Stephanie Parker, Deborah Schofield, Koren Smith, Ellen Yorke, Michelle Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: While the review of radiotherapy treatment plans and charts by a medical physicist is a key component of safe, high-quality care, very few specific recommendations currently exist for this task. Aims: The goal of TG-275 is to provide practical, evidence-based recommendations on physics plan and chart review for radiation therapy. While this report is aimed mainly at medical physicists, others may benefit including dosimetrists, radiation therapists, physicians and other professionals interested in quality management. Methods: The scope of the report includes photon/electron external beam radiotherapy (EBRT), proton radiotherapy, as well as high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy for gynecological applications (currently the highest volume brachytherapy service in most practices). The following review time points are considered: initial review prior to treatment, weekly review, and end-of-treatment review. The Task Group takes a risk-informed approach to developing recommendations. A failure mode and effects analysis was performed to determine the highest-risk aspects of each process. In the case of photon/electron EBRT, a survey of all American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) members was also conducted to determine current practices. A draft of this report was provided to the full AAPM membership for comment through a 3-week open-comment period, and the report was revised in response to these comments. Results: The highest-risk failure modes included 112 failure modes in photon/electron EBRT initial review, 55 in weekly and end-of-treatment review, 24 for initial review specific to proton therapy, and 48 in HDR brachytherapy. A 103-question survey on current practices was released to all AAPM members who self-reported as working in the radiation oncology field. The response rate was 33%. The survey data and risk data were used to inform recommendations. Discussion: Tables of recommended checks are presented and recommendations for best practice are discussed. Suggestions to software vendors are also provided. Conclusions: TG-275 provides specific recommendations for physics plan and chart review which should enhance the safety and quality of care for patients receiving radiation treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e236-e272
JournalMedical physics
Volume47
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • TG275
  • plan review
  • quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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    Ford, E., Conroy, L., Dong, L., de Los Santos, L. F., Greener, A., Gwe-Ya Kim, G., Johnson, J., Johnson, P., Mechalakos, J. G., Napolitano, B., Parker, S., Schofield, D., Smith, K., Yorke, E., & Wells, M. (2020). Strategies for effective physics plan and chart review in radiation therapy: Report of AAPM Task Group 275. Medical physics, 47(6), e236-e272. https://doi.org/10.1002/mp.14030