A change in treatment process with a modern record and verify system

E. E. Klein, R. E. Drzymala, R. Williams, L. A. Westfall, J. A. Purdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: With the introduction of new treatment devices, such as a multileaf collimator (MLC) and dynamic wedge (DW), therapists have an increased responsibility to ensure correct treatment. Simultaneously, three- dimensional treatment planning (3DTP) has led to an increased number of portals and table movements. To counteract this challenge and maintain efficiency, a comprehensive record and verify (RandV) system is mandatory. We evaluated a commercial system (Varis) for reliability, ease of use, efficiency, and integration with our planning systems. Methods and Materials: Some key elements of the Varis system are: integration of MLC and DW; auto setup for MLC, jaw, collimator, gantry, and limited table parameters; direct download of simulation beam data; and a regimented field scheduling system that prescribes all beam data for particular fractions. Evaluation of the system was driven by treatment time analysis, error rates, and an increased workload. These issues were governed by how we disseminated duties and how the system accommodated or changed our processes. Results: Most data entry is performed by our dosimetry staff. Data can be downloaded from the simulator, but more patients now move from CT simulation and/or 3DTP to the treatment machine. Varis does not link to these systems. The physics staff confirms all entries to correct data entry errors. The workload for dosimetrists increased by an average of 8 minutes/patient entry; physics time increased by 7 minutes/patient entry; the weekly electronic chart check takes approximately 3 minutes/patient. Therapists who used Varis efficiently showed a slight decrease in treatment times, attributed to MLC integration and auto-setup. Some therapists experienced a decrease in efficiency, because of unfamiliarity and excess intervention. On a positive note, notable events have decreased by a factor of 10 since full initiation. Unfortunately, the remaining errors are often the result of a therapist relying on incorrect electronic information. Conclusion: The Varis RandV system has had an impact on our clinic's process and efficiency. Checking of all beam data and related field scheduling have helped reduce errors and misconceptions. We feel a dual-energy machine can be operated with two experienced therapists and an up-to-date RandV system more accurately and efficiently than with three therapists working without an integrated RandV. We anticipate future Varis releases will further promote efficiency and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1168
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Quality assurance
  • Radiation therapy
  • RandV
  • Record and verify

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