Purpose: Although peer review in radiation oncology (RO) has been recommended to improve quality of care, an analysis of modifications resulting from an RO multidisciplinary presimulation standardized review process has yet to be empirically demonstrated. Methods and Materials: A standardized simulation directive was used for patients undergoing simulation for external beam radiation therapy at a single tertiary care institution. The simulation directives were presented, and all aspects were reviewed by representatives from key RO disciplines. Modifications to the original directives were prospectively captured in a quality improvement registry. Association between key variables and the incidence of modifications were performed using Fisher exact test and t test. Results: A registry of 500 consecutive simulations for patients undergoing radiation therapy was reviewed. A median of 105 simulations occurred per month. All simulation directives were entered by a physician a median of 3 days before simulation (range, 1-76 days). The treatment intent was curative for 269 patients (53.8%), palliative for 203 patients (40.6%), and benign for 3 patients (0.6%). Twenty-five (5%) patients did not have a treatment intent selected. Based on RO multidisciplinary review, 105 directives (21%) were modified from the original intent, with 29 (5.8%) requiring more than 1 modification. A total of 149 modifications were made and categorized as changes to patient positioning and immobilization (n = 100, 20%), treatment site and care path (n = 34, 6.8%), simulation coordination activities (n = 6, 1.2%), and treatment technique and planning instructions (n = 9, 1.8%). A higher proportion of modifications occurred at the time of multidisciplinary review in patients receiving more complex treatments (intensity modulated radiation therapy/stereotactic radiosurgery/stereotactic body radiation therapy [IMRT/SRS/SBRT] vs 3-dimensional radiation therapy [3DCRT] radiation therapy, 25% vs 16%, P <.025). Conclusions: Given the complexity of radiation therapy simulation, standardization of directives with prospective RO multidisciplinary presimulation peer review is critical to optimizing department processes and reducing errors. Approximately 1 in 5 patients benefits from this peer review process, especially patients treated with IMRT/SRS/SBRT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging