Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Nashville
Ben Frank, vice president of operations at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Nashville.
The newly opened Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Nashville is the first clinic to connect the oncology information system RayCare* directly to the treatment delivery system, using it to record and verify the treatment sessions. In 2018, Provision also became the first clinic worldwide to use RaySearch software exclusively.
The Provision CARES Cancer Network was established in 2014 in Knoxville, Tenn. The center became the first to ever use the treatment planning system (TPS) RayStation for clinical proton treatment planning.
The Decision to go for RayCare as Sole OIS
In October 2018, the cancer network reached another significant milestone, when RaySearch’s next generation oncology information system (OIS), RayCare, was used to record and verify the treatment sessions for the first time. The new Provision center in Nashville uses RayCare as its sole OIS and is the first to do so. The decision to choose RayCare, an OIS still in development, was a natural decision, said Ben Frank, vice president of operations.
“We have always had this innovative partnership with RaySearch, so when we heard they were going to develop an OIS, we jumped onboard immediately,” he stated.
The clinic found many advantages in being a RayCare partner from early days and taking part in the development of the system. One important factor is also that Provision is driven by the desire to advance cancer care, just like RaySearch, and therefore found a chance to make a change, Frank said.
“We have an opportunity to challenge the status quo within oncology and to redefine cancer care. We know that there are opportunities that exist to deliver better care to cancer patients. We want to take advantage of that, together with RaySearch,” he said.
Customizing the OIS to the Clinic’s Needs
The clinic’s partnership with RaySearch is about the development of RayCare, including the possibility to streamline the system to the clinic’s specific needs. Before RayCare, cancer clinics had to adapt in order to fit the OIS, not the other way around. This is now subject to change, Frank said.
“For the first time, we can build something from scratch, with a wide array of functionality, to design our process as wanted. We can let the system work for us and not the other way around”, he stated.
Marc Blakey, director of medical physics, said that the clinic and RaySearch started out with a workflow that was built as a start-to-finish approach, from the point where the patient enters the clinic for the first time, until the treatment is completed.
“We started that way but modified it over time with RaySearch when we understood how RayCare worked and how it could work for us. We then decided to go with a more modular approach, with more patient interaction. This way the workflow could be more adaptive, which we appreciate”, said Blakey.
Integration with RayStation is Key
The key reason for selecting all-RaySearch software to Provision in Nashville was the possibility to receive fully integrated systems with a seamless integration between RayStation and RayCare.
“The integration between the TPS and OIS is something that has never been done before. Just streamlining the integration and having everything under one umbrella, makes it a very user-friendly product”, said Justin Pigg, radiation therapy manager.
Efficiency Gains With RayCare
A seamless software integration not only streamlines the workflow, but also makes it more efficient. Higher efficiency in a cancer clinic translates into saving valuable time to instead spend on patients.
“The more efficient your software is, the more efficient your overall clinic is going to be. Any time I am spending in front of a computer to document the patient’s care is time lost to interact with the patient. RayCare allows me to be as efficient as possible”, said James R. Gray, medical director.
Blakey speaks about the biggest efficiency improvements Provision in Nashville has met since installing RayCare.
“One of the biggest efficiencies that we have found is the ability to get a plan ready for treatment once it has been approved by the physician. It takes just a few minutes, and the integration has helped us expedite that process,” he said.
Pigg agrees, and said that RayCare has also made the scheduling process a lot smoother.
Support Key to Safe Patient Treatments
The Provision center in Nashville installed RayCare when the center was still under construction early 2018. The proton machine used at the center is also new, which made safety a high concern, Blakey said.
“We had a lot of support from RaySearch, which was instrumental to treat our first patient and being comfortable with it. We were very confident when it was time to go live thanks to the support and validation that had been done prior to the first patient treatment,” Blakey said.
Strong Foundation for the Future
The continuous collaboration between RaySearch and Provision is as strong as ever, and there are many more things to look forward to, Frank said.
“We are both very innovative, entrepreneurial companies and there are always opportunities to improve in our business. At the end of the day, everything we do is for our patients, and we know the same thing is true for RaySearch,” Frank concluded.
* Subject to regulatory clearance in some markets.