News | January 27, 2011

ASTRO Reaffirms Commitment to Quality, Patient Safety Plan

January 27, 2011 – The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is continuing its commitment to Target Safely, a six-point patient protection plan developed in January 2010. The plan is designed to improve the safety and quality of radiation therapy treatments and reduce the chances of medical errors.

"Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is hard enough for patients without having the additional burden of worrying about the accuracy and safety of their treatments," said Anthony L. Zietman, M.D., ASTRO chairman and a radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. "With every cancer patient, the goal is to treat and/or cure his or her disease in the safest and most effective way possible, that's why ASTRO is focused completely on ensuring patient safety."

Since the plan was established, ASTRO has made great strides in its Target Safely goals. Over the past year, ASTRO has:

• Proposed federal legislation to develop a national medical error reporting system and a patient safety database for radiation oncology.

• Tested the compatibility of different radiation oncology equipment vendors. Four use cases, or interoperability problems, were tested and passed successfully. Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise – Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO) is an ASTRO-sponsored initiative dedicated to improving integration issues related to radiation treatment equipment. Problems submitted to IHE-RO are reviewed by a taskforce composed of vendors, physicists and clinicians and taken directly to vendors. ASTRO is asking all radiation oncologists and hospitals to consider only IHE-RO compliant technologies when selecting new radiation therapy equipment.

• Continued to strengthen radiation oncology practice accreditation with more robust and meaningful measures. We are encouraging all radiation oncologists to participate.

• Made progress toward passage of legislation to require licensing standards for personnel performing radiation treatments, known as the CARE Act.

• Worked with patient support groups, cancer survivors and other medical organizations to create a list of questions patients should ask their physicians and cancer centers when considering radiation therapy as a treatment for their disease. These are designed to help patients better understand the safety checks and balances that are put into place to guard against errors. Those questions are available for download on rtanswers.org and to view as videos posted on YouTube.

• Developed a free self-assessment module titled "Quality Assurance for Advanced Technology Radiation Therapy" to review and identify quality assurance processes for all ASTRO members.

• Committed to incorporating quality and safety educational content in all ASTRO meetings to ensure attendees have the resources necessary to provide safe and effective patient care.

"Any error is one error too many," Zietman said. "We will remain devoted to these Target Safely goals until the possibility of error is eliminated."

For more information: www.astro.org/TargetSafely

Related Content

Rafael Rivero, M.D., Global Head of Medical Affairs at MSI, said: "The importance of MyoStrain cannot be understated because of the test's immense clinical value and ability to quantify intramyocardial dysfunction across 48 segments of the heart. In a six-heartbeat MRI scan, MyoStrain arms physicians with novel clinical information about a patient's heart health."
News | Cardiac Imaging | August 11, 2020
August 11, 2020 — Myocardial Solutions, Inc. and United Imaging, Inc.
A special issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences features stories about the interpersonal skills beyond the technical aspects to care for and guide patients through medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures

Image courtesy of Canon

News | Patient Engagement | August 11, 2020
August 11, 2020 — "I went into the MRI
Results of Journal of the American College of Surgeons study should reassure breast cancer patients who experienced surgical postponements due to COVID-19 pandemic

Association between Time to Operation and Pathological Stage in DCIS & ER+ Breast Cancer. Courtesy of American College of Surgeons

News | Women's Health | August 07, 2020
August 7, 2020 — A new br...

An oncologist practices social distancing while talking to a cancer patient. Image courtesy of University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | August 07, 2020
August 7, 2020 — When COVID-19 struck, health ca
Global radiotherapy market revenue is set to expand from $7,222.4 million in 2019 to $17,194.4 million by 2030, at an 8.4% CAGR between 2020 and 2030, the key factor driving the market growth is the increasing number of cancer cases, according to the report published by P&S Intelligence.

Image courtesy of Elekta

News | Radiation Therapy | August 06, 2020
August 6, 2020 — Global ...
According to the new market research report "Radiation Dose Management Market by Products & Services (Standalone Solutions, Integrated Solutions, Services), Modality (Computed Tomography, Nuclear Medicine), Application (Oncology, Cardiology, Orthopedic), End User (Hospitals) - Global Forecast to 2025", published by MarketsandMarkets, the radiation dose management market is projected to reach USD 422.65 million by 2025 from USD 220.22 million in 2020, at a CAGR of 13.9%.

Courtesy of MarketsandMarkets Research

News | Radiation Dose Management | August 03, 2020
August 3, 2020 — According to the new market research report "...
Siemens AG is continuing to rigorously execute its Vision 2020+ strategy and therefore expressly welcomes Siemens Healthineers AG’s acquisition of a 100 percent stake in Varian Medical Systems, Inc., a U.S. company active in the area of cancer research and therapy.

Getty Images

News | Radiology Business | August 03, 2020
August 3, 2020 — Siemens AG is continuing to rigorously execute its Vision 2020+ strategy and therefore expressly wel
JAMA Oncol. Published online  July 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2783

Table 1. JAMA Oncol. Published online  July 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2783

News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020 — An article published in JAMA...
Older Americans may be receiving cancer screenings not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Getty Images

News | Radiology Imaging | July 31, 2020
July 31, 2020 — Older Americans may be receiving cancer screenings not recommended by the...