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Report No. 275 - Strategies for Effective Physics Plan and Chart Review in Radiation Therapy: Report of AAPM Task Group 275 (2020)

Category: Reports

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. 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. 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 (FMEA) 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. These data were used to inform recommendations. 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. Tables of recommended checks are presented and recommendations for best practice are discussed. Suggestions to software vendors are also provided. A draft of this report was provided to the full AAPM membership for comment through a three-week open-comment period, and the report was revised in response to these comments. 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.

Medical Physics
https://doi.org/10.1002/mp.14030

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First published: 22 January 2020

Eric C Ford, Leigh A. Conroy, Lei Dong, Luis E Fong de los Santos, Anne W. Greener, Grace Gwe-Ya Kim, Jennifer Lynn Johnson, Perry B Johnson, James G. Mechalakos, Brian Napolitano, Stephanie A Parker, Deborah L Schofield, Koren Smith, Ellen D. Yorke, Michelle C Wells

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