The four presenters in this session will share real-world strategies for taking good ideas from published literature or invited talks at professional meetings, and bringing them into their departments. The translation from page to clinic can appear to be a black box for physicists who want to implement the newest and best ideas, but may not have ample resources or time to struggle before finding the perfect solution for their team.
TG-263 tells us that a lack of standardized nomenclature is “a substantial barrier to the…aggregation of data to supporting clinical trials, practice quality improvement efforts, and development of big data analytics resource systems.” Even if leaders within a department or practice embrace the goal of standardization, the undertaking is monumental. The first speaker in this session will share the successes, and pitfalls, of a dramatic 12-month overhaul of the naming conventions in a large academic practice. Changing habits, customs, and even culture can be difficult—but it is rewarding for both safety and efficiency. A mixture of pragmatism, innovation, and having an enthusiastic champion will yield maximum benefits.
Understanding and implementing the recommendations of AAPM Task Group 275 requires a variety of skills. It also requires the physicist to also be familiar with other AAPM publications like TG-100 and MPPG-4a. This portion of the presentation will cover the speaker’s workflow to in a multifaceted approach to achieve the goal of meeting the spirit of the TG-275 recommendations. This will cover topics such as making an appropriate chart checking list, using standardization to your advantage and working towards developing automations to allow for more robust plan checking, and less repetitive checking of parameters that can easily be verified by computer.
The report from Task Group 203 provides significant updated information and recommendations regarding radiation therapy patients with cardiac implanted electronic devices (pacemakers and defibrillators). For the clinical physicist, one of the more interesting sections of the report addresses patient management and coordination with departments or services outside of radiation oncology. The third speaker will describe their experience updating their program to meet the current recommendations of TG-203, and how these recommendations informed their broader program to manage patients with any implanted electronic medical device. They will discuss some of the challenges they experienced in coordinating with other departments to develop their management program, and they will highlight some of the tools and concepts that enabled us to make their management program more complete.
The final speaker will highlight some fortunate departments that have streamlined their workflows for extremely efficient operations, and who are ultimately reaping the benefits of better patient throughput and care, staff engagement, and resiliency. This speaker will introduce a number of commercial software solutions that have aided clinics in the process and describe how others have created custom solutions in house or leveraged outside technology for improved communication and productivity. Bringing a combination of vendor-provided and homegrown solutions can feel daunting, but is worth the effort, time, and expense.
1. The attendee will understand the common snags in the implementation of Task Group Reports and Medical Physics Practice Guidelines, and how they might avoid them in their own clinic or department.
2. The attendee will learn about various tools and concepts that can be useful in implementing a project affecting multiple disciplines.
3. The attendee will gain a familiarity with commercial products, and home-grown solutions to streamlining clinical workflows.