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Development of Online Quality Assurance Automation Tool "SmartQC" for radiotherapy clinics
Sinha, UshaCervino, LauraValafar, Faramarz
xi, 52 pages : illustrations (some color).
Radiotherapy has existed as a clinical medical procedure since as early as 1900, and has become an essential component of modern hospitals. It is predicted that, sometime between the years 2010 and 2020, the number of patients receiving radiation therapy during their initial treatment is expected to rise by 22% from 470,000 per year to 575,000 per year. Errors in the radiotherapy process, whether it is in treatment planning or treatment delivery, can be fatal. Due to the potential for harm in radiotherapy, quality assurance and safety measures are essential elements at every stage of modern clinical workflow. As a result, efficiency in QA procedures and checks is an important issue that has significant impact on both practice and research in the field of radiotherapy. This thesis documents the design, development, and testing of SmartQC, a framework that follows a radiotherapy patient's plan from initial simulation to the beginning of treatment and automates some of the QA checks. SmartQC has different environments for different teams: dosimetrists, physicists, therapists, management, and peer review. SmartQC creates a task when a patient initially undergoes simulation CT prior to treatment. This task is passed from dosimetrist to the other teams as the treatment plan status changes and the different teams need to do their part in the planning and QA process. We have also developed two surveys to analyze possible ways to improve the efficiency of physics treatment plan QA. Survey results show that during the treatment plan check performed by the medical physicist - also known as the second check or physics check - a substantial fraction (~33%) of the average time is spent on non-physics related analysis. While the motivation for radiotherapy QA is principally about improving quality of patient care, and developing radiotherapy research tools, we also discuss the relevance of QA to radiotherapy malpractice lawsuits and related financial costs. This thesis concludes with further developments being considered as an outgrowth of this platform.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 51-52).
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2015
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