Purpose: Quality improvement initiatives are now mandated by hospital accreditation boards to ensure that healthcare is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. ABR certified medical physicists(MP) are further required as part of their maintenance of certification to engage in practice quality improvement(PQI) efforts. The objective was to analyze all PQI projects within our University Radiation Oncology Department for factors that contribute to their success.
Methods: Our radiation oncology department is made of two main clinical sites and four satellites. Our facility has nine linear accelerators for external beam radiotherapy, 2 Elekta Flexitron for brachytherapy, Elekta perfection Gamma knife for SRS, 1 mobetron for IORT and other special procedures. We are staffed with 12 board certified physicists and 12 board certified radiation oncologists. Multiple PQIs have been implemented in the department over the past 5 years. These projects were reviewed.
Results: The projects identified included, machine QA, Patient setup, patient initial physics chart check, tumor delineation. The following were identified as contributors to a successful PQI projects: leadership support, time allocation, appropriate tools, mechanism for data collection, financial resources, human resources and selecting the right project.1- Training, The Success of a PQI project depends on proper training on effective use of QI methodology such Six Sigma, Lean, root cause analysis, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) and incident reporting and learning (IRL). 2- Administrative support that includes financial support such as the provision of human resources such as a departmental quality coordinator.3- Time was identified as a critical component of successful PQI projects.
Conclusion: The success of these PQIs is dependent on many factors including leadership support, resources, training, and time. PQI can become relevant, feasible and sustainable, if it is embedded into MP workflow, transforms PQI into an exercise of team ingenuity rather than a burden.
Not Applicable / None Entered.