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Six-Point Patient Protection Plan
Reducing medical errors by
reporting them is one point of
the plan; © SXC
The plan from the Board of Directors of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (Astro) comes after a systemic review of the Society’s patient safety and quality assurance projects. Williams acknowledged that recent reports about serious errors in the delivery of radiation therapy were troubling to the Society. “Any errors, no matter how small, must be reported, understood and used as a tool to further reduce the potential for future errors. Astro is committed to leading the way to helping physicians and treatment teams do just that,” Williams said. The plan includes:
- Working with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) and other stakeholders to create a database for the reporting of linear accelerator- and computed tomography-based medical errors.
- Launching a significantly enhanced practice accreditation program, and beginning the development of additional accreditation modules specifically addressing new, advanced technologies.
- Expanding the educational training programs to include specific courses on quality assurance and safety, and adding additional content to other educational programs.
- Working with patient support organizations to develop tools for cancer patients and caregivers for use in their discussions with their radiation oncologist to help them understand the quality and safety programs at the centres where they are being treated. These tools will include questions to ask their treatment team, such as, “Do you have daily safety checks?” and “What kinds of safeguards do you have to make sure I am given the right treatment?”
- Further developing the Radiation Oncology connectivity compliance program to ensure that medical technologies from different manufacturers can safely transfer information to reduce the chance of a medical error.
- Providing the expertise of the members of the organization to policymakers and advocating for new and expanded federal initiatives to help protect patients, including support for immediate passage of the Consistency, Accuracy, Responsibility and Excellence in Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (CARE) Act to require national standards for radiation therapy treatment team members; additional resources for the National Institute of Health’s Radiological Physics Center to evaluate the safety of treatments; and funding for a national reporting database.
MEDICA.de; Source: American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO)